Dozens feared dead in Aegean Sea after boat incidents

September 20, 2015 | By | Reply More

Sep 20, – Thirteen migrants died after their boat collided with a ferry off the Turkish coast, officials there said, while the Greek coast guard fanned out in the choppy waters of the Aegean Sea searching for another 24 people missing after their boat sank off the island of Lesbos.

Greece MigrantsDisasters at sea claimed the lives of dozens of migrants on Sunday, as desperate people fleeing war and poverty braved the risky journey to seek sanctuary in Europe.

Coast guard officials said nearly three dozen people were rescued in the two incidents, which followed another sinking near Lesbos Saturday, in which a 5-year-old girl drowned. Two bodies were found in Greek waters, but authorities aren’t yet sure which shipwreck killed them.

The events highlight the risks that those fleeing the Middle East, Africa and Asia are willing to take in hopes of reaching sanctuary in Europe. Men, women and children continue to take the perilous sea journey despite the fact that thousands of earlier migrants find themselves blocked by closed border crossings in the Balkans.

Hungary’s decision to shut its border with Serbia on Sept. 15 set off a chain reaction in Croatia and Slovenia that has forced people fleeing violence in their homelands to rush from one European border to the next as they desperately try to find their way north before the rules change again.

Thousands are on the move all over southeastern Europe as authorities struggle to respond. About 15,000 migrants crossed into Austria from Hungary and Croatia over the weekend.

Hungary erected yet another steel barrier, now at Beremend border post with Croatia, complete with a giant steel door to control the flow of migrants. The gate slowed the flow. But they just kept coming.

In the Austrian border village of Nickelsdorf, people arrived by foot after completing a half-an-hour walk from the Hungarian town of Hegyeshalom. From there, buses and trains take them to emergency shelters in Vienna and other parts of Austria.

The asylum seekers lined up, waiting for buses to relocate them across the country. Austrian soldiers stood alongside. Local officials struggled to find them places to stay, since many camps across Austria are already overcrowded.

Mahat, a lab technician from Damascus, was one of the thousands waiting to get onto the buses.

“We came here only to get a new life,” said Mahat, who didn’t want to give his last name fearing repercussions by the Syrian government.

Press journalist for HRO media – Ignacio Damigo reports.

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Category: International

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