Five children among 21 dead as migrant boat capsizes off Turkish coast

  • The exact number of people onboard the boat is not known yet and the death toll can increase as the Turkish Coast Guard continues its searches in the area

Written By Devesh Kumar
First Published15 Mar 2024
Lifejackets are seen inside a wrecked boat used by refugees and migrants to cross part of the Aegean Sea from Turkey
Lifejackets are seen inside a wrecked boat used by refugees and migrants to cross part of the Aegean Sea from Turkey(REUTERS)

At least 21 migrants died after their rubber dinghy capsized off Turkey’s northern Aegean coast on Friday. As per reports, the dead include five children while the Turkish coast guard personnel rescued two migrants from the sea. The administration said that two people were rescued from the water, while two swam to the shore of the town of Eceabat in Canakkale province of Turkey.

The exact number of people onboard the boat is not known yet and the death toll can increase as the Turkish Coast Guard continues its searches in the area. The local administration said that the nationalities of the migrants remain unknown.

Turkish authorities have roped in ten Coast Guard vessels and two helicopters in the search and rescue operation and a number of ambulances are also on standby to deal with emergencies.

Turkey is a common route for illegal migrants from the Middle East and Africa, who are trying to reach Greece in the hope of a better life. The migrants also target other destinations in the European continent like Italy, the UK, etc.

In the current week, the Turkish coast guard intercepted 93 migrants, who were attempting to depart from the Turkish coastline aboard boats.

2023 Messenia migrant boat disaster

This is not the first tragedy around the area as last year 500 people were ‘presumed dead’ after an Italy-bound fishing trawler sank in international waters in the part of the Mediterranean known as the Ionian Sea. As per the reports, the fishing trawler had a total capacity of 400 people but was carrying more than 700 illegal migrants.

The investigators revealed that the fishing trawler might have run out of fuel or faced engine troubles. As the boat was overloaded, the movement of passengers caused it to lose its balance and capsize. Some reports also claimed that the the fishing trawler was intercepted by the Greek coast guard and the tragedy occurred while the coast guard personnel were towing the boat.

 

 

 

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