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Presque 50 migrants feared dead off coast of Greece after boat sinks

Presque 50 migrants feared dead off coast of Greece after boat sinks
Boat was carrying 80 passengers of which 50 are still missing, UN’s refugee agency says

Dozens of people are feared dead after a boat sank in the Aegean Sea on Wednesday off the Greek island of Karpathos, selon UN refugee agency HCR.

The Greek Coast Guard said there were 80 people on board when the migrants started the journey from Antalya, located on the southern coast of Turquie en Italie.

The UNHCR said that “up to 50 are still missing”.

The Greek Coast Guard has so far saved 29 people — all men — from the waters between Rhodes and Crete. Greek authorities told local media that those rescued are from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran.

Local media reports said the boat en route to Italy sank 38 nautical miles south of Rhodes.

Strong winds and rough seas are complicating search and rescue efforts involving an air force helicopter, two navy ships, a coast guard vessel and three merchant ships.

This year alone, the UNHCR said more than 60 people have died in the eastern Mediterranean. L'année dernière, according to data from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), 111 people lost their lives in the eastern Mediterranean.

Au 19 juin, a shipwreck in the Aegean Sea took the lives of eight people off the island of Mykonos, according to the IOM.

pendant ce temps, Grèce’s shipping and island policy minister Giannis Plakiotakis said in a statement that “protecting human life is a daily concern and our absolute priority. In the last two years, dans 145 search and rescue operations, plus que 6,000 people have been saved”.

He added that the “search is continuing with unreduced intensity”.

According to UNHCR, 70,325 migrants managed to reach Europe “of which 65,548 individual crossings were reported in the Mediterranean” this year as of date.

Since the beginning of the year, Italy has received the largest number of arrivals, à 43,740, followed by Spain where nearly 17,000 migrants reached and Greece and Cyprus at 7,261 et 2,268 respectivement.

This is a sharp drop compared to official UNHCR data from previous years.

L'année dernière, il y avait 123,300 arrivals and in 2020, 95,800, marking a dip in the number of arrivals this year compared to previous years.

Dans 2019, 123,700 had crossed the Mediterranean and 141,500 had done so in 2018, according to the refugee agency.