Pylos, 15 June, 2023 (GNP): Greece’s deadliest refugee shipwreck of this year, at least 78 people have lost their lives, with hundreds more feared missing.
The victims, primarily men from Afghanistan and Pakistan, tragically drowned when the large trawler they were traveling in capsized off the southern Peloponnese.
The ill-fated vessel, which had departed from eastern Libya and was en route to Italy, encountered this devastating accident.
The exact number of missing passengers remains unclear, as speculations range from around 600 to 400 individuals. As rescue efforts continue, Greece’s caretaker government has declared three days of national mourning to honor the victims of this heart-wrenching tragedy.
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Rescue operations have already saved approximately 104 passengers as of Wednesday afternoon, with coastguard vessels, a navy frigate, military transport planes, an air force helicopter, and various private crafts actively engaged in the search. The mission has been challenging due to adverse weather conditions and strong winds.
Survivors brought to the southern port city of Kalamata have shared harrowing accounts of the ship’s rapid sinking near the deepest part of the Mediterranean Sea. Witnesses reported that the vessel went down within minutes after the engine malfunctioned.
European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, conveyed her deep sadness and highlighted ongoing efforts to address migration issues in the Mediterranean.
This devastating incident underscores the urgency for global action to prevent such tragedies and find sustainable solutions to migration challenges.
The United Nations reports that over 72,000 refugees and migrants have already arrived in countries bordering the Mediterranean this year, seeking safety and a better life.