Migrant ship sinks near GreeceJanuary 16th, 2011 - 4:37 pm ICT by ANI
Melbourne, Jan 16(ANI): An Italy-bound ship, Hasan Reis, carrying at least 263 migrants has reportedly sunk near the Greek island of Corfu, authorities have said.
According to reports, a passenger on the Hasan Reis had alerted the Greek coastguard saying that the boat was in danger.
However, high winds prevented immediate rescue efforts.
A Dutch cargo ship rescued the passengers in the ship about seven hours after the call that alerted the coastguard.
The cargo ship’s captain reported that he took 241 people on board.
“Searches are now being conducted by five vessels, and search and rescue helicopters are looking for 22 people who are missing according to statements made by those rescued,” the Herald Sun quoted a Greek coastguard statement, as saying.
Greece has become the main gateway to Europe for illegal migrants and asylum seekers.
Over the past year migrants have increasingly chosen the safer land route via Turkey rather than crossing the sea on rickety boats. (ANI)
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Tags: asylum seekers, authorities, cargo ship, coastguard, crossing the sea, greece, greek island, herald sun, high winds, illegal migrants, italy, melbourne, reis, rescue efforts, rescue helicopters, rickety boats, search and rescue, seven hours, ship sinks, turkey