Shipwreck kills at least 79 migrants off Greece, hundreds missing

   June 16, 2023 ,   Accidents

The Greek authorities are losing hope in finding survivors from the sunk fishing boat carrying a large number of migrants and refugees. The accident occurred on Wednesday, June 14th, in the Ionian Sea, off the coast of Pylos (Messenia, Peloponnese Greece), and so far at least 79 people are dead/missing, while 104 were successfully rescued.

The survivors consist entirely of adult males from Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, and Palestine.

Reports from Greek media indicated that the fishing vessel, measuring 30 meters in length, was carrying between 500 and 700 migrants.

Despite extensive search and rescue operations involving nine ships (including a Greek Navy frigate) and a helicopter, no further survivors have been found. The boat, which embarked on its journey from eastern Libya to Italy, capsized southwest of the Peloponnese Peninsula early on Wednesday morning.

Concerns are mounting that numerous individuals who were inside the ship's hold may have perished, as the accident occurred in one of the Mediterranean's deepest regions. Survivors' testimonies relayed by Greek media suggested that ~100 minors and numerous women were aboard the vessel, while most of the men were on the outer deck.

Nikos Alexiu, a spokesman for the Hellenic Coast Guard, explained that the overloaded boat's engine suddenly stopped, prompting passengers to shift their weight, ultimately leading to the capsizing of the vessel. He lamented that the exact number of people on board would likely remain unknown.

The Greek CG released a statement revealing that the boat had been spotted in international waters south of the Greek peninsula around noon on Tuesday. Despite multiple offers of assistance through satellite phone and private boats dispatched to the area, the individuals on board declined the help, expressing their intention to continue their journey to Italy.