Naharnet

20 Migrants Die after Boat Sinks Off Greece

Twenty migrants have died and seven were missing after their makeshift boat sank off a Greek island near the Turkish coast, police said on Saturday.

Port police had earlier said 16 bodies were found on Thermi beach on the island of Lesbos, but they went on to discover four more bodies on the same beach.

"Only one person was plucked out of the water and hospitalized," a port police spokeswoman said.

The lone survivor, a 20-year-old man who was taken to hospital in the island capital Mytilene, told authorities the boat was carrying 28 people, including children.

The victims set sail from the western coast of Turkey on Thursday but ran into bad weather that sank their boat during the night, about two miles off the island.

Authorities did not immediately release the victims' nationalities. The search for possible survivors continued Saturday.

The island is one of several in the eastern Aegean that lie near mainland Turkey and are frequent targets for migrants trying to reach western Europe.

Migrants often perish trying to make the crossing in makeshift boats, particularly in winter.

Source: Agence France Presse


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