Greek authorities at 15:30 launched a major operation to rescue a group of 13 illegal migrants, possibly of Afghan origin, sailing adrift in the sea at a distance 25 nautical miles west of the Ionian island of Corfu.
The migrants were spotted by an Italian fisherman that informed the Italian coast guard. Italian authorities alerted the Greek coast guard that launched a search-and-rescue operation using a Bell helicopter that has already picked up four of the migrants and a Super Puma helicopter.
Due to rough weather in the northern Ionian, coast guard vessels were unable to reach the spot where the migrants were adrift but surrounding ships have been alerted to provide assistance if necessary.