ATHENS, Greece, Sept. 20 (UPI) — Some 26 migrants were feared dead Sunday after their rubber raft sank as they were making their way from Turkey to Europe.
Survivors said there were 46 originally aboard the boat. The Greek coast guard said it rescued 20 people from the boat sinking off the Greek Island of Lesbos, a primary route for those moving to northern and western Europe. Saturday, rescue workers found the body of a 5-year-old girl off Lesbos after her boat sank. Fourteen others from the same boat are still missing.
At the same time, the Italian coast guard said it participated in the rescue of 4,343 migrants from smugglers’ boats off the coast of Libya in just one day. Adding to the tally, a Norwegian vessel rescued another 335 people.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants, most fleeing war-torn Syria and Afghanistan, have arrived in Greece from the nearby Turkish Coast to seek a better life. Many have died while trying to cross the Aegean Sea, often in flimsy vessels on the choppy seas.