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Video: Hellenic Coastguard rescues 29 immigrants

The Greek coastguard was engaged in a major search and rescue operation east of the Aegean Sea island of Karpathos after a boat reportedly carrying up to 80 migrants sank during the night of August 9-10.

The coastguard said August 10  that 29 people, all men, had been rescued from the sea 33 nautical miles east southeast of Karpathos, an island between Rhodes and Crete. Those rescued were from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, and told rescuers there had been roughly 60 to 80 people on board the vessel when it went down, said the coast guard.

Most of those missing are reportedly not wearing life jackets.

Those rescued said the boat had set sail from the Antalya area on the southern Turkish coast and was aiming for Italy when it ran into trouble during the night.

Two coast guard patrol boats, a Greek navy vessel, an air force helicopter and at least three ships sailing nearby were participating in the search and rescue efforts, the coast guard said.

The most common sea route for asylum-seekers from the Middle East, Asia and Africa has been from Turkey to nearby Greek islands and more recently to Italy to avoid Greek patrols and risk being sent back to Turkey.

 

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