Death toll of asylum seekers rose to 25 after the sinking of a migrant boat. The bodies of 25 migrants, including 10 children, were discovered off the Greek island of Samos after a dingy ferrying 45 capsized, reported the Greek Coast Guard.
The death toll in a migrant boat sinking off the Greek Island of Samos has risen to 25 people. The boat was ferrying people who were fleeing their homeland. At least 10 victims of the sinking were children. A total of 10 people were rescued by the Greek coastguard. Frontex, the European border agency, also assisted in the rescue. The survivors were found clinging on to a large piece of wood. The authorities believe that the piece of wood might have been torn apart from the boat the migrants were travelling in.
It is difficult to ascertain what exactly happened because the survivors were reportedly in shock and couldn’t narrate the clear accounts of what exactly happened. Though it might not be possible know for sure how many people were on board the ill-fated boat, common consensus seems to be there were 45 people who were travelling in the boat when it capsized.
— eNCA (@eNCA) January 28, 2016
It was Greece’s Coast Guard that raised the death toll to 25 from a migrant boat sinking Thursday, after authorities recovered seven more bodies from the sea off the northern coast of Samos, an island near the Turkish coast, reported WRAL.
25 drown after migrant boat sinks near Greek Islands https://t.co/02P8Lob1ig
— TIME.com (@TIME) January 28, 2016
Officers solemnly noted that ten of the dead were young children. The coast guard added that the bodies of five girls, five boys, 10 men, and five women have been recovered so far. While ten people have been rescued, if survivor accounts are to be believed, ten more continue to remain missing. Speaking about the survivors, a coastguard spokeswoman said the following.
“There were five boys and five girls among the victims, while 10 people were pulled from the water unharmed, but in a state of shock.”
The migrant boat was most likely heavily overburdened with people who were looking to cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece. The treacherous sea route is commonly undertaken by refugees looking to land on any of the Greek islands, desperately hoping to seek asylum. Authorities had initially reported finding 12 bodies, but the number quickly rose as rescuers continued to comb the waters looking for any survivors, but finding nothing but floating victims, reported Yahoo. The authorities were alerted by an alert that was raised by one of the survivors, who braved the frigid waters and swam to shore.
— ITV News (@itvnews) January 28, 2016
While neither the origins of the dead, nor the survivors, have been ascertained, thousands of such desperate souls have been pouring into Europe, notwithstanding the bitterly cold climate. Despite the frigid winter, thousands of people, fleeing barbaric civil wars, famine, and drought in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, are making the treacherous journey to try and land on the European soil. Hundreds are known to perish along the way, but that doesn’t dissuade those desperate to leave the war and famine behind.
— Yannis Koutsomitis (@YanniKouts) December 24, 2015
The latest tragedy comes as Greece is under increasing pressure from the European Union to somehow stop the huge influx of migrants. The European Commission blamed Greece, saying the country had “seriously neglected” its duty to “protect the bloc’s frontiers,” reported Yahoo. Despite the unforgiving weather and the sea, migrants are coming in on boats since they are genuinely concerned that EU members might soon impose stricter border controls that might last for up to two years.
Greece insists that it is both illegal and risky to send the migrants back, who are coming in through the sea route. It believes that doing so would invariably lead to a higher death toll, reported WWNT Radio.
[Photo by Aris Messinis/Getty Images]