Child dies as migrant boat sinks off Greece

AFP | Published — Thursday 28 September 2017

 

Migrants whose boat stalled at sea while crossing from Turkey to Greece swim to the shore of the island of Lesbos. (AP)

 

ATHENS: A nine-year-old girl died on Thursday and 25 other people were rescued after a boat carrying migrants capsized off the coast of Greece, the Greek coast guard said.

A search was under way to locate more migrants who may have been on the small inflatable boat, which had left from Turkey and sank off the Greek island of Kastelorizo in the southeastern Aegean Sea.

The girl was pulled from the sea by a patrol boat of the EU’s border force agency Frontex but died in hospital in Kastelorizo, the coast guard.

Twenty of the 25 people rescued were picked up on the rocky coast of the island, which they had managed to swim to.

No details were released on the nationalities of those on board.

In 2015, around a million people undertook risky sea journeys to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, mostly to Greece from Turkey over the Aegean Sea.

Thousands died in the perilous crossing. Responding to international pressure, Turkey tightened its sea borders and cracked down on migrant smuggling rings as part of a 2016 deal with the EU.

The numbers of migrants crossing the Aegean has since dwindled.

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