By MarEx 2015-10-15 10:50:42
A woman and three children drowned after their wooden boat collided with a Greek coast guard vessel during a migrant rescue operation north of the Aegean island of Lesbos. Lesbos has been a main entry point for migrants fleeing from the Turkish coast.
Early reports from the Greek Coast Guard stated that 31 people had been rescued but there were at least eight missing. The migrant boat sank following the collision.
Greece’s eastern islands, particularly Lesbos, have dealt with the largest influx of migrants as more than 400,000 thousand refugees and migrants crossed from Turkey to Greece in the first nine months of the year. Earlier this week, Greece said it had no plans to conduct joint sea patrols with Turkey.
According to the E.U. Border Control Agency, the number arrivals in the first nine months of 2015 is more than two times higher than the entirety of 2014.
The majority of people crossing the Mediterranean this year have landed in Italy and Greece. Most of the migrants rescued by Greek officials have been Syrian.
European leaders are holding talks in Brussels this week to discuss how to cope with the continent’s largest migration crisis since World War Two.
Italian Navy Recovers 118 Bodies
Italy’s navy recovered 118 bodies in a four-month operation on the wreck of a fishing boat that sank in April with up to 800 migrants on board.
It laid a wreath on the deck of the sunken vessel with the help of a robotic arm.
The shipwreck, believed to be the most deadly in the Mediterranean in decades, became a symbol of Europe’s migration crisis and prompted the European Union to expand its rescue mission off the Libyan coast.
The technical analysis of the 65-foot shipwreck is complete, opening the way for the recovery of the vessel as Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has pledged to do.
Bodies were recovered from the seabed around the ship, but many more may still be trapped below deck.
The overcrowded fishing boat capsized and sank as it approached a merchant ship that had come to its aid.
In June, the navy began using remote-controlled submersibles to bring up bodies from around the wreck, which is about 85 miles north of Libya at a depth of about 1,214.