Hundreds saved off Lesbos

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By Euronews  with Reuters
Hundreds saved off Lesbos

The search is continuing for survivors after a wooden boat carrying scores of people capsized off the greek island of Lesbos.

At least three people, including two small boys,are known to have drowned.

242 other refugees and migrants were rescued and ferried to the island port of Molyvos by the coastguard and local fishing boats.

At least 38 people are thought to be still missing. Coastguards from Greece and Spain are continuing to search for survivors, supported by the EU border agency Frontex.

Lesbos – the numbers

The rescue is thought to be the biggest off the Greek coast since the beginning of the year.

A fourth man drowned in a second shipwreck, also on Lesbos.

There were five rescues in total, including near the nearby island of Samos. A total of 11 people have died.

More than 500,000 people have transited on to central and northern Europe through the Greek islands since the crisis began.

Lesbos – a primary gateway?

Greek territory, Lesbos lies only 10 kilometres from the Turkish coast in the north Aegean Sea.

The island is in the front line of the refugee crisis.

More than 300,000 have arrived this year, with the number of daily arrivals peaking at 7,500.

What was decided at the last EU summit?

Last Sunday, EU leaders agreed to cooperate further in handling the crisis and to provide United Nations-aided housing for 100,000 people, half of them in Greece.

But aid organisations say this only minimally addresses the problem of ensuring safe and legal routes for people to seek refuge.