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Two more shipwrecks in the Aegean, the refugee flood does not stop

30 October 2015 / 11:10:15  GRReporter
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Two more shipwrecks followed the black Wednesday in the Aegean, when three boats overturned and killed at least 16 people. Today, the bodies of four other refugees were taken out from the sea. The total number of rescued people is 274 and one is still missing.

The two latest accidents happened near the islands of Rhodes and Kalymnos. According to the information available to this moment, the victims were at least 22, 10 of them being babies and young children.

Late last night a wooden boat transporting more than 100 refugees capsized in the sea between the small island Kalolymnos and the island of Kalymnos. Despite the efforts of the Greek coast guard to rescue the people in trouble, they have found 18 bodies in the sea, and the number of rescued is 138. The rescue operation is involving four Greek coast guard boats, one Frontex boat, one Super Puma helicopter and three fishing boats.


The second shipwreck happened north of Rhodes hours later, at around 5:00 am today. So far, the rescue teams have found three bodies and rescued six people. In their words, three others who were sailing in the boat are missing.

Meanwhile, senior Greek police officers who monitor the refugee influx from Turkey to Greece are adamant that the accidents at sea will continue in the coming weeks.

"The tragedies in the Aegean Sea will continue in the coming weeks with dozens of new victims as the Turkish traffickers are totally ignoring weather conditions, forcing refugees to board the boats. Every day at least one or two of the 100-150 boats that set off from the Turkish coast sink due to bad weather and rough seas. In view of the conditions in which these journeys are taking place, these black statistics of shipwrecks will continue," one of them states for the newspaper To Vima.


They describe the scheme used by the traffickers. "They put at the helm a refugee who has no experience with the sea. Due to the big waves, strong winds and bad weather, they lose their orientation. Then they start making desperate attempts to head for the right direction and as a result, the boats capsize. The fact that 2.5 million immigrants are waiting at the Turkish coast is driving traffickers not to stop the stream of boats.

We have evidence of constant accidents where the boats are loaded, during which the traffickers who have already received the money press the hesitant refugees to board them.

We thought that by mid October we would have about 1,000 arrivals of refugees per day (in August they reached 10,000 per day) and expected their number to decrease in November and in winter. Our expectations have proved to be wrong. The Turkish traffickers are sending to Greece 7,000 people per day and the hope that the refugee problem would be less acute in the winter has proved to be deceptive. "

Tags: SocietyRefugees and migrantsShipwreckVictimsTurkish traffickersRefugee influx
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