29 October 2015, Thursday
Three drown as over 240 migrants are saved by Greek Coast Guard
Mounting one of its biggest rescue operations in the Aegean Sea this year, on Wednesday the Greek Coast Guard saved some 240 migrants after a large wooden smuggling boat capsized in high winds off the Greek island of Lesbos, killing three people, including two children. The search continued late into the night in a bid to find more survivors.

“It’s a big wreck; we don’t often see this,” a Coast Guard official on Lesbos said, noting that most boats dispatched by smugglers from Turkey to Greece carry “40 or 80 people.”

 “We’ve seen boats with 160 or 170 but that’s rare,” he added. Inflatable dinghies have been the smugglers’ preferred vessel up to now. The official refused to speculate on whether the type of vessel used this time and the number of passengers aboard marked a new tactic by the smugglers.

 The three people confirmed dead were a man and two boys, a four-year-old and a one-year-old. No details were available about their country of origin.

 In total, eight migrants died on Wednesday in attempts to cross the Aegean from Turkey according to the Greek Shipping Ministry, which cited four separate wrecks: two off Lesbos and two off Samos, another Greek island. Of the eight dead, six were children.

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