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Boat Carrying Refugees and Migrants Capsizes off Greece’s Southern Coast

Tragedy struck on the southern coast of Greece as a fishing boat carrying refugees and migrants capsized and sank, resulting in the death of at least 78 people and leaving many more feared missing. The Greek coastguard reported the incident occurred in international waters, approximately 47 nautical miles (87km) southwest of Pylos, near the deepest parts of the Mediterranean. Strong winds complicated the extensive rescue operation, which has already saved around 100 individuals. Multiple coastguard vessels, a navy frigate, a military transport, an air force helicopter, and private boats are currently engaged in the search for those still unaccounted for.

Boat Capsizes killing 78 People

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Among the survivors, four were hospitalized in Kalamata with signs of hypothermia, while dozens received shelter, dry clothes, and medical attention in designated areas established by ambulance services and the United Nations Refugee Agency. Tragically, none of the rescued individuals had access to safety equipment such as life jackets.

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The exact number of passengers still in the water or trapped inside the sunken vessel remains uncertain, although initial reports suggest that hundreds may have been on board. While the boat’s departure port was not immediately confirmed by Greek authorities, a shipping ministry official indicated that most of those aboard hailed from Egypt, Syria, and Pakistan. The boat was en route to Italy and is believed to have originated from the Tobruk area in eastern Libya.

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Greek authorities and the European Union’s border protection agency, Frontex, were alerted about the approaching vessel on Tuesday. Despite subsequent attempts to offer assistance, calls to the boat were declined, according to the coastguard. This devastating incident adds to the alarming toll of deaths along migration routes. In 2022 alone, the International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrants Project documented 3,789 fatalities across sea and land routes in the Middle East and North Africa region, marking the highest number recorded since 2017.