Greece rescues boat adrift with hundreds of people off Crete

A boat believed to be carrying hundreds of asylum seekers was towed to the port of Palaiochora in southeastern Crete.
A boat with hundreds of asylum seekers that lost steering and had been drifting in the Mediterranean south of the Greek island of Crete has been successfully towed to port, according to Greek authorities.
The vessel was towed to the port of Palaiochora in southeastern Crete, where it arrived on Tuesday afternoon. There were no immediate reports of any injuries or missing people.
Earlier on Tuesday, the coastguard said that passengers on the boat had made a distress call to an emergency number during the night to alert authorities.
According to the passengers, there were up to 500 people on board the vessel, the coastguard said, but added that the figure could not immediately be confirmed.
“The distress call said there are 400-500 people on board,” a coastguard spokeswoman told the AFP news agency.
“They can see the boat, it’s adrift, there is a large number of people on board,” she added.

A young man smiles as migrants arrive on a fishing boat at the port of Palaiochora, following a rescue operation off the island of Crete [Stringer/Reuters]

A Greek navy frigate, two Italian fishing vessels, a tanker and two cargo ships participated in the rescue operation, the coastguard said.
It was not immediately known where the boat carrying the asylum seekers had set sail from, what its intended destination was or what the nationalities of those on board were.

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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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