A Turkish Coast Guard boat was chasing a Greek Coast Guard patrol off the island of Samos during a rescue operation to search for illegal immigrants in distress.
A foreign-flagged cargo ship engaged by the Greek EKSED (Unified Center for the Coordination of Search and Rescue) to participate in the search and rescue operation of foreigners, which has been ongoing since yesterday in the sea area 3.8 nautical miles south of Samiopoulos in Samos, noted body in the water, informing the Turkish patrol boat, which was in its territorial waters, to pick it up. According to the information, the Greek coast guard ship informed the Turkish boat that it was in Greek territorial waters, and the “response” was to display weapons and perform dangerous maneuvers.
The episode took place this morning in the patrol area of the Frontex ship. It all started when a foreign-flagged cargo ship involved in the investigation of the crash found a dead person in the area of responsibility of the Greek authorities for search and rescue in the territorial waters of Greece. From the cargo ship, the Turkish coast guard boat, which was in Turkish territorial waters, was immediately informed of this in order to hand over the body.
Coast Guard announcement
With regard to the search and rescue operation, which has been ongoing since yesterday in the sea area 3.8 nautical miles south of Samiopoula on the island of Samos, under the coordination of the Joint Coordination Center for Search and Rescue Operations Λ.Σ.-ΕΛ.ΑΚΤ., it is known that that today the search continues by the coast guard patrol ship Λ.Σ.-ΕΛ.ΑΚΤ., the high seas vessel (PATH) Λ.Σ.-ΕΛ.ΑΚΤ., the aircraft Λ.Σ.-ΕΛ.ΑΚΤ. and warship FRONTEX.
This morning, a foreign-flagged vessel, which was engaged by EKSED to participate in the search and rescue operation, discovered one (1) body within the area of search and rescue responsibility of the Greek authorities and in the territorial waters of Greece, informing the Turkish coast guard boat, which was in the territorial waters Turkey for his fence.
After that, the Turkish boat, which was in the neighboring area, entered the search and rescue zone of the Greek authorities and the territorial waters of Greece, and made dangerous maneuvers against the coast guard patrol ship Λ.Σ.-ΕΛ.ΑΚΤ. In the process of taking the body, while the patrol guard Λ.Σ.-ΕΛ.ΑΚΤ. approached a Turkish patrol boat to indicate that it had violated Greek territorial waters, the Turkish boat attempted to damage the ship Λ.Σ.-ΕΛ.ΑΚΤ. while displaying weapons.
It is noted that the aforementioned Turkish ship did not provide significant assistance in the search for missing persons at sea, and also did not inform the EKSED operation coordinator of its presence. The maneuvers of the Turkish boat hindered the work of the Greek Coast Guard and the FRONTEX forces, as well as the development of a search and rescue operation to search for the missing.
This particular incident took place in the presence of the Italian force ship FRONTEX, whose crew recorded it in order to inform the organization of their next steps.