Migrants’ boat shipwreck in Greece, the worst disaster at sea ever: the victims may be 600

Up to 600 people may have died in what is maybe the worst shipwreck of a migrant's boat. Nine suspected boatmen arrested.
migrants shipwreck greece

The transfer of the 104 migrants who survived the shipwreck south of the Peloponnese from the port of Kalamata to the reception facility in Malakasa, north of Athens, has begun. The survivors are all men. Mostly Syrians (47), Egyptians (43), as well as 12 Pakistanis and two Palestinians, according to the Greek authorities.

More than 20 people remain hospitalised in Kalamata. Among them are some minors who will be transferred first to the reception camp to complete identification procedures. And then will be housed in some juvenile facilities.

The search and rescue operation to find those still missing continued into the night without success. And the number of confirmed dead remained unchanged at 78, no new survivors were found. A Hellenic Navy frigate, a Navy helicopter and three neighbouring ships are currently operating in the search area.

Nine alleged boatmen arrested

Nine alleged Egyptian boatmen were arrested in Greece after the dramatic shipwreck. A port source told Afp that among those arrested is the captain of the boat that capsized before sinking.

According to the same source, the vessel had left Egypt before embarking migrants in Tobruk in eastern Libya. And it had then Italy as a final destination. The route followed by the boat is one of the most critical and dangerous.

On board the shipwrecked fishing boat off the Greek coast there were supposedly 750 people. According to the Greek media, the people apprehended were identified by the rescued migrants. Who paid between $4,000 and $6,000 each for the journey.

The suspects arrested in Kalamata, the port on the Peloponnese peninsula where the survivors were transferred, are now suspected of ‘illegal trafficking’ of human beings.

European Union: Sar contact group meeting today

The European Union’s Sar search and rescue contact group, “relaunched by the Commission to help Member States in view of the tragedies. But also in view of the need to ensure common practices for the exchange of information and to ensure the prevention of loss of life”, meets today.

This was announced by European Commission spokeswoman Anitta Hipper in the daily press briefing.

Read also: How the European Union’s highly complex migration policy works and why it is back at the top of the political agenda

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