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12 rescued, several missing after boat sinks off Greek island

12 rescued, several missing after boat sinks off Greek island
Boat with more than 30 migrants goes down south of Folegandros island due to mechanical fault, say officials

By Magda Panoutsopoulou

ATHENS (AA) – Over a dozen people went missing after a boat carrying migrants sank off Greece’s Folegandros island on Wednesday, officials said.

According to the Hellenic Coast Guard, 12 migrants have been rescued so far and they are in good health, while a rescue operation is still underway.

The boat started to take in water south of the Aegean island of Folegandros and sank after it developed a mechanical issue, the officials said.

Initial reports from the coast guard said that a total of 32 people were on board, but some of the rescued passengers told the coast guard that the number was about 50.

Only two of the 12 rescued migrants were wearing life jackets, as the boat had no proper rescue equipment.

The search and rescue operation is continuing with the help of two helicopters, three navy vessels, a C-130 airplane, five floating ships, and private boats.

Greece is the main route into the European Union for asylum-seekers arriving via Turkey.

Turkey has been a key transit point for irregular migrants who want to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution in their countries.

source: News Feed
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