A Greece migrant boat, carrying hundreds of individuals in search of a better life, tragically capsized, resulting at least 79 dead, according to the Greek Coast Guard. Rescue operations are currently underway, but concerns persist that the final death toll could be even higher.
104 migrants who were onboard the ill-fated boat have been successfully rescued from the water and subsequently transported to the city of Kalamata for further assistance.
“All the men who have been rescued are between 16-41 years old according to what they said,” Kalamata Mayor Thanasis Vasilopoulos said Wednesday. “They also said there were women and children on board,” he added.
In a race against time, rescue teams managed to save 104 passengers, hailing from diverse backgrounds including Egyptians, Syrians, Pakistanis, Afghans, and Palestinians. Tragically, the efforts also involved the recovery of 79 bodies from the water.
As the search operation pressed on, additional efforts were deployed in the early hours of Thursday. Aircraft were dispatched, dropping flares to provide illumination and aid the search teams in their quest for any remaining survivors.
“It’s one of the biggest [such] operations ever in the Mediterranean,” Greek coastguard spokesman Nikos Alexiou told state ERT TV.
On Wednesday, Greek President Katernina Sakellaropoulou made a visit to a group of survivors, extending her support and condolences. The shocking incident has deeply affected not only the survivors but also the entire nation of Greece, as Vasilopoulus expressed.
Greece has long been a focal point of the European migrant crisis, serving as a gateway to the European Union for migrants and refugees originating from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
The current year has witnessed a drastic surge in the number of undocumented individuals arriving on European shores via the sea. This escalation can be attributed to a combination of factors including ongoing conflicts, global inequality, and the escalating climate crisis.
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In this hour of sorrow, our thoughts and condolences go out to the families who have lost their loved ones, and to all those who have been affected by this tragic incident. May they find solace, strength, and the support they need to navigate through this dark chapter in their lives.