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2nd body recovered off Greek island after migrant boat sank

Body of a woman was recovered on Thursday at the Greek island of Lesbos and was identified as a woman reported missing, after a migrant boat sank the previous day.

By: AP | Athens | December 4, 2020 8:59:12 am
European Union Migrants, migrantsOf the migrants entering the EU this year, 11,921 went to Greece, 2,334 to Italy, 35 to Bulgaria and 289 went via boat directly to Cyprus. (QDenirci/picture alliance)

The coast guard said that, “The body was recovered from a rocky part of the coast, bringing the death toll, from the sinking to two.”

“Another 32 people, all from Somalia and including three children, had been rescued from the sea after the dinghy they had been traveling on from the nearby Turkish coast sank off Lesbos early Wednesday morning”, Greek authorities said.

Read| UK, France sign new deal to stop illegal migration across Channel

Government spokesman, Stelios Petsas, accused the Turkish coast guard of refusing to help the migrants when they issued a distress call.

“It is clear that the Turkish vessel, despite the request for help, didn’t rescue the passengers of the fatal boat while they were in Turkish territorial waters”, Petsas said Thursday.

On the contrary, it urged them to move forward, it carried out maneuvers against the boat so that it would continue its course toward Greek shores. Petsas said, “smuggling gangs were knowingly endangering people’s lives by sending them to illegally cross the European Union’s borders in unseaworthy vessels.”

“People who are not in danger on land, Turkey sends them into danger at sea, in boats that don’t fulfill any safety requirements and are driven by people without permits or knowledge of the rules of the sea”, he said, adding that “turning a blind eye to such practices was a usual practice by neighboring Turkey.”

Greece remains one of the most popular routes into the European Union for people fleeing poverty and conflict in the Mideast, Africa and Asia. The vast majority make their way from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands, often in unseaworthy and grossly overcrowded dinghies and boats.

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