Tag Archive for 'distress at sea'

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AI: Two boat tragedies leave migrants dead and missing off Europe’s shores

Press releases

25 July 2013
Two boat tragedies leave migrants dead and missing off Europe’s shores

Separate boating incidents putting the lives of dozens of migrants at risk in the Aegean Sea today are a tragic reminder of the dangers faced by people seeking to reach Europe’s borders, Amnesty International said.
A search and rescue operation continues off the Turkish coastal city Bodrum, where a boat believed to have 13 migrants on board went missing early this morning.
Also today the Greek coastguard rescued 21 migrants who fell from a rubber boat carrying 46 people near the island of Chios. One of the migrants was unconscious when pulled out of the sea and was later pronounced dead.
“The sad truth is that we’re likely to see more tragic incidents like these as migrants and asylum-seekers flee economic hardship and conflict with the hopes of finding safety and a better life in Europe,” said Jezerca Tigani, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Programme. Continue reading ‘AI: Two boat tragedies leave migrants dead and missing off Europe’s shores’

Video / AI: Greek fisherman saves people from drowning

“Why should a person drown?”

Giorgos Mavripidis, a fisherman from Skala Sikamias, saved a family from drowning as they were trying to reach the shores of Lesvos in October 2009. Eight other lives were lost that day.

“There’s no doubt many people are going to drown again this year”, he says. “Because here the storms are wild and the currents are strong.”

It was a regular morning for Giorgos Mavripidis. He was on his boat throwing his fishing nets when a speedboat loaded with people was capsized by the waves. Giorgos left his nets and rushed to help.
Continue reading ‘Video / AI: Greek fisherman saves people from drowning’

159 migrants in distress at sea saved near Calabria

Yesterday the 159 migrants from Afghanistan, Syria and Egypt had started from turkey some days earlier heading towards italy when their ship got at distress at sea close to the Calabrian coast. Among them were 8 children, one newborn and four women. Four migrants had to be transferred to hospital.

proto thema (in greek)

Refugee boat sinks in Aegean Sea: 1 dead, 5 missing

A refugee boat has sunk in the Aegean Sea off Ayvalık, leaving an Afghan refugee dead and five others missing.

The deceased refugee was identified as 45-year-old Vahide Selami.

Nine refugees were reportedly rescued after the incident.

The boat was cruising south from Çıplak Island (Chalkis, Cimno) in the northwestern province of Balıkesir at 5 a.m. before sinking due to an unknown reason.

Coast guard rescue teams are continuing their work to find the missing five.

daily news (in engllish)

Lostatborder Report: now also in German!

lostatborder (in german)

Lesvos: More refugees dying on dangerous routes to asylum in Europe

Another refugee boat with 15 passengers got lost only three months after the tragedy that cost the lives of 21 refugees in December of last year on Lesvos island. Eight Syrian refugees a lost in the sea between Turkey and Lesvos. Six corpses were already found on the coast of the island. Relatives have arrived to look out for their beloved. One 17-year-old pregnant woman from Syria has been already recognised.
Last Friday the Greek coast guard had found already three of the corpses – of one woman and two children near Eressos beach. It seems the small boat got in distress only a few days earlier while the corpses were brought to the coast by the strong winds of the days. Saturday afternoon relatives of lost refugees reported to the police of Lesvos the disappearance of eight Syrians (two men, a woman, two minors and three children). They had started their dangerous journey in Dikili in Turkey but they never arrived. On Sunday another three corpses were found. Unfortunately the corpses are not to be recognised anymore since they were many days in the sea.

Meanwhile refugees continue to arrive on the island. On Monday 63 refugees were arrested my LEsvos police. Another 16 Afghans had spent some nights in the park of Mytilini city since the police was denying to register / arrest them. The local solidarity network “The village of all-together” supplied the homeless refugees with blankets, clothes and food.

efimerida ton sindakton (in greek)

lesvos news (in greek)
embros (in greek)
tvxs (in greek)

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL – PRESS RELEASE
20 March 2013

Refugees dying on dangerous routes to asylum in Europe

In a case highlighting the risks people take when fleeing conflict in their countries to seek refuge in Europe, the authorities of Lesvos continue their search for the bodies of asylum-seekers who had attempted to reach the Greek island.

Since last Friday, they have found the bodies of six Syrian nationals including a 17-year-old pregnant woman and a mother with her young children. They are now searching for the bodies of three more Syrian nationals whose families had reported missing to the island authorities after the nine attempted to cross from Turkey on 6 March 2013.

Lesvos is one of the main crossings for migrants and refugees trying to enter the European Union via the Greek mainland. Last December, 21 people (mostly Afghans) drowned close to the shores of the island, after the boat they were in capsized.

Since last summer, people fleeing the conflict in Syria have featured among those attempting the crossing, including many families with young children.

“As Greece is tightening the border controls in Evros, including the completion of a 10.5km fence last December, people take more and more dangerous routes. This was a tragedy waiting to happen,’’ said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty International’s Director of the Europe and Central Asia Programme.

“It is vital that the Greek authorities ensure protection to all asylum-seekers reaching the country. Instead, the Greek asylum system is grossly failing them. People who flee conflict, including many Syrians and Afghans who make it to the shores of Lesvos, are detained in police stations in overcrowded and poor conditions or in many cases left destitute to sleep in the streets.’’

“The Greek authorities should also take urgent measures to improve the reception conditions of those arriving at its shores and end the detention of asylum-seekers. In addition, Syrian nationals with no papers fleeing the conflict, must not be detained or issued with deportation orders and the authorities should proceed with a fair and effective examination of their asylum claims.”

“It is very painful to watch the same tragedy repeating in the shores of our own island,” said Efi Latsoudi, a local activist and member of the ‘Village of altogether’ – an initiative run by of volunteers who step in when state support for refugees and migrants is not available.

Three migrants found dead at the coast of Chios

The first two corpses were found on Sunday 13th of January at 9 o ‘clock in the morning by fishermen in two different beaches of the island Chios. A third corpse was found by the coast guard around 2pm at yet another beach. According to first information by the Coroner the persons died of drowning within the last 48 hours before being found.

At the meantime on Saturday 12th of January three migrants were found alive on the island Panagia Oinousson inside fish cages. They are from Palestine and Iran. As two of them reported they had tried to reach Chips island from Cesme in turkey in the night of Thursday. Their boat turned around and they swam for more than 10 hours to reach the island. It is yet unknown if there were more persons inside the same boat.

newsit (in greek)

Tragic death of more than 61 sans-papiers in the sea between Turkey and Greece

At least 61 sans-papiers died when their ship sank near by the coast of Izmir, Turkey. More than 100 persons were trying to reach the Greek coast on that ship but they came into distress at sea in only 50 metres distance from the turkish coast. The fishing boat they were in struck some rocks and began taking on water, sinking soon afterwards. Among the passengers there were reportedly mainly refugees from Syria, Iraq and Kurdistan while the majority were women and children. 43 of them could be saved until now and 61 were found dead (among the dead are at least 20 children).

tv xs (in greek)
hurriyet (in english)

read the press release of Multeci Der

Continue reading ‘Tragic death of more than 61 sans-papiers in the sea between Turkey and Greece’

New border crossings into Greece: A revival of the old routes in the Aegean?

Recently the greek news are talking of a revival of the old routes into Greece through the Aegean islands. Since two years Evros has been the main entrance for sans-papiers into Greece with steadily increasing numbers of arrivals. Since the beginning of the governments massive pogrom against sans-papiers in Athens but also in Evros and the further periphery in the beginning of this August, numbers of arrivals have been shrinking in Evros and increasing again slightly on the islands of the Aegean (mainly: Mytilini, Samos, Patmos, Leros, Symi etc.). In August 397 sans-papiers were arrested on the Aegean islands compared to 168 in 2011. The greek government following this increase and the medial hype around the “revival of the island routes” asked Frontex for more support in controlling their sea borders. The request concerns 4 additional aircrafts, 4 coast guard ships and specialised extra staff.
Concerning the fate of the arriving sans-papiers, as it seems, the authorities on the islands have the order to keep new arriving sans-papiers as long as possible in detention on the islands and not transfer them to Athens. In some cases solidarity group denounced the lack of access to the asylum procedure for the detained. In a long-term perspective if arrivals will continue and grow this could result in the creation of new detention places on the islands (or the re-opening of old ones). It is yet unclear if the slightly increasing arrivals on the islands can be interpreted as another change of routes or if it is more of a short term phenomenon. Clearly, the medial referral to a “revival” of the old routes and de facto arrivals of the last days anyway also lead to an increased use of a fascist discourse by some people within the local societies (i.e. in Symi but also elsewhere).

read also the press release of the Doctors Without Borders on the situation on the islands (in english)

In Samos the local solidarity group published a number of press releases concerning the very poor detention conditions of newly arrived Syrian and Afghan refugees (among them also children, women and UN-recognized refugees from other countries) and the lack of access to the asylum procedure for the about 50-60 refugees. Since a few days the Syrian refugees are on hunger strike protesting their inhuman situation.

see also earlier post with the press releases

In Mytilini the last month there have been also repeated arrivals (50 and more in the last period). Sans-papiers seem to be detained in the police stations of the island.

In Symi a boat carrying 38 sans-papiers was seemingly shot by the authorities and thereafter sank (on September 4th). The passengers were saved and are in detention now. In total there were about 100 (or more) arrivals in this period. The police station does not fit any more detainees so that the new arriving have to stay in the yard and next to it in outside spaces. The Doctors without borders are offering some medical first aid, while the police is responsible for the catering. At the same time during a recent municipal council on the island one of the speakers proposed to call members of the fascist party GD (golden dawn) to “solve the problem” and “so that the guys don’t allow the boats of the coast guard to disembark the sans-papiers on the island”. The mayor of the island at some point said: “if nothing happens (from the side of the government?) then we have to tak the weapens and protect our island!”.

In Leros a few days ago 60 sans-papiers arrived – originally having arrived on Farmakonisi. Amog them were also small children. They were all detained in the yard of the coast guard and the police station.

see: indymedia 4.9.12

In Rhodos 20-30 people were reported to have arrived in the last days. At the same time their are rumours about the construction of a new detention centre on Kos island.

Distress at sea in Angistri

On April 22, the coast guard intercepted migrants who were at distress at sea at Angistri following the information of the local population. The migrants were arrested. They were given food and water.

Zougla (in Greek)

The infomobile

... is like a “paper boat”. We chose this as a metaphor for what we want to create and for the situation of refugees and migrants in Greece. The paper boat is a folded boat able to swim – for a while. Then you have to build a new one to go on travelling. A paper boat is symbolic for the journey of life, vulnerable but in your own hands and to be recreated again and again. It is simple, but it carries many hopes and dreams. It can dance on a turbulent sea. It belongs to everybody. And it might become the small version – like a first draft – of a welcome-space.

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email: infomobile.w2eu@gmail.com

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