Boat lost near Greek island leaves 3 dead, arrivals double compared to last year

Frontex border agency officers patrol the Greek Mediterranean.
Frontex border agency officers patrol the Greek Mediterranean. Copyright AP Photo/Santi Palacios
Copyright AP Photo/Santi Palacios
By Euronews with AP
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Despite years of efforts to 'push back' boats crossing the Mediterranean from Africa, capsizings and drownings have continued.


Rescuers on the eastern Greek island of Chios on Wednesday have recovered at least three bodies after a boat carrying migrants from nearby Turkey hit rocks, officials said.

Fourteen people, including eight children, were rescued by the coast guard off rugged coasts on the northeast of the island, some 20 kilometres from Turkey. Three men were later found on shore.

Coastguard officials said three patrol vessels were looking for other possible survivors, while at least three bodies have been recovered. All three are reportedly minors. The boat has not been located.

Greek islands in the eastern Aegean Sea are a common entry point into the European Union for migrants using Turkey-based smuggling networks in waters patrolled by the EU border protection agency Frontex.

The number of migrants heading towards Europe is increasing – and it is particularly the countries along the Mediterranean coast that are bearing a large part of the burden.

More than double the amount of migrants have arrived in Greece compared to the same timeframe last year.

"A place like ours cannot handle so many people. No matter how much Europe pays, it doesn't work," said Gavdos resident Manolis Bikkaki.

Local officials on his island claim nine million migrants are trying to make their way to Greece. Residents were told the number could rise to 20 million if conditions worsen.

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