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Search continues for missing migrants from capsized boat

Δημοσίευση 18 Ιανουαρίου 2011, 11:59 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Search continues for missing migrants from capsized boat
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Greek coast guard units, aided by air force planes, were continuing for the second day on Monday a search operation in the sea region west of the Ionian island of Corfu for survivors of a wooden vessel that sank while ferrying more than 250 Afghan illegal immigrants towards Italy.

Greek coast guard units, aided by air force planes, were continuing for the second day on Monday a search operation in the sea region west of the Ionian island of Corfu for survivors of a wooden vessel that sank while ferrying more than 250 Afghan illegal immigrants towards Italy.

The incident occurred on Sunday morning some 30 nautical miles west of Corfu.

Port authorities had initially said that 22 people on the 30-metre vessel were still missing, while 232 survivors were picked up by the passing Dutch-flagged freighter "Momentum Scan" on Sunday and transported to the port of Corfu.

Thirty of the rescued Afghan migrants suffered minor injuries due to adverse weather conditions in the area and were taken to the island's hospital for first aid treatment.

The search and rescue operation for the missing migrants was continuing full swing on Monday afternoon, with the participation of vessels sailing in the vicinity, a Super Puma all-weather military helicopter and a deep-sea vessel.

A total of 230 migrants -- 214 men, five women and 11 children -- all from Afghanistan, were rescued by the "Momentum Scan", as well as two Turkish migrant- smugglers.

The migrants told authorities that a total of 263 people were on board the vessel that capsized, which means that the number of missing could rise to 31.

Sailing ban due to high winds

 A sailing ban in the ports of Piraeus, Lavrio and Rafina remained in place for a second day on Monday due to storm-force winds of up to 8 Beaufort velocity in Greece.

The only routes being conducted on Tuesday were in the Argosaronic Gulf, for ferries headed to the island of Aegina.

The Maritime Affairs, Islands and Fishing ministry recommended that passengers should first contact the local port authorities to be briefed on the sailing status.