The Greek Coast Guard continues a search and rescue operation south of Crete on Friday after a sailing ship carrying migrants capsized on Thursday evening off the island of Karpathos.
A total of 37 people were rescued late Thursday night, including one child and one woman. Some were recovered from the sea, others from a sinking sailboat, the Coast Guard said. Three vessels were involved in the rescue operations, one with the Maltese flag, the second with the flag of the Marshall Islands and the third with the Liberian flag. Coast Guard boats also tried to approach the yacht in distress, but weather conditions made it difficult for them to work.
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The Maltese ship managed to rescue 32 people who were taken to Ierapetra, and five more of those rescued were taken by Super Puma helicopter to the island of Karpathos. Eight people are still missing, a day after a boat carrying dozens of migrants sank in strong winds.
The distress signal arrived on Thursday at about 22:00, and about an hour later, at 23:00, two Turkish frigates arrived at the scene, the captains of which contacted the captains of the three merchant ships that responded to the distress call, and said that the search and rescue area belongs Turkey, and that the Turkish authorities themselves will collect the survivors.
The captains of the three ships ignored what the Turkish authorities were telling them and continued to receive instructions and consult with the Greek authorities.
The Coast Guard said in a statement:
“This afternoon, a major search and rescue operation is underway in a sea area about 60 nautical miles southeast of Crete to assist foreigners under the leadership of the Joint Search and Rescue Coordination Center LS-EL.AKT.
In particular, the Single Coordination Search and Rescue Center LS-EL.AKT was informed that, according to their statement, forty-five (45) people are in a difficult situation for the I / F boat with the immigrants on board. After being discovered by an additional ship that approached I / F for help, his captain reported that the I / F’s boat was sinking and began rescuing passengers from the sea.
There are one (01) SUPER PUMA Air Force helicopter and five (05) ships operating in this sea area, one (01) Offshore LS-EL.AKT rushing to the spot, as well as one (01) LS-EL.AKT lifeboat.
Thirty six (36) foreigners have been rescued so far. The work, which is in full swing, takes place in difficult weather conditions, as the winds with a force of 7 prevail in the marine survey area. ” Causes of the Turkish reaction In 2019, the Turkish authorities concluded an agreement with the interim government of Libya on exclusive economic zone, which miraculously fell not only the territory of the Greek EEZ, but also the Greek islands. Greece did not recognize this agreement, declaring it illegal, which led to a sharp deterioration in relations between the countries. It is worth noting that as a measure of influence on Libya, Greece insent from the country the ambassador of Libya…