At least 15 refugees drowned on Monday after the boat they were in capsized in Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey, Al Jazeera reported. Greek officials recovered the bodies of six women, two men and a child from the country’s waters off Lesbos island, while Turkish authorities found the bodies of six men and a child in their territory.
The United Nations Human Rights Council said at least 25 people were on board the vessel, and two women had been rescued, reported Reuters. Search operations are still on.
The boat is believed to have set off from Turkey late on Sunday night. Lesbos island is located around 19 km from Turkish shores. A Greek navy vessel had alerted authorities on Monday morning after spotting the bodies.
Several such cases of refugees losing their lives in such incidents were reported last year. In September, at least 42 African refugees had drowned after their boat capsized off the Mediterranean coast near Alexandria, Egypt. In June 2016, around 320 refugees were killed after a boat capsized off the Greek island of Crete. Hundreds had drowned after a wooden boat from Libya capsized in May last year.
According to the International Organisation for Migration, more than two lakh had tried to cross the Mediterranean Sea in 2016. More than 2,800 of them had died between January 2016 and June 2016.
An average of 20 refugees arrive on Greek islands every day, according to the Reuters report. More than 1.73 lakh refugees – mostly from Syria – had entered Greece in 2016.