A migrant died and 70 more were rescued when their boat started taking in water southwest of the island of Crete, Greece’s Coast Guard says.
A Coast Guard spokesman told the Associated Press the 70 survivors, who have been brought to land after they were rescued by a cargo ship and a Coast Guard vessel Sunday afternoon, said they were Syrians. He spoke on customary condition of anonymity, because an investigation into the case is ongoing.
The spokesman would not confirm media reports that two people from the boat had been arrested as traffickers. As for the victim, he said the Coast Guard was waiting for the coroner’s report, but added that “presumably” the victim drowned.
Local media have reported a small number of women and minors among the survivors.
Although migrant flows to Europe from the coasts of Turkey and Northern Africa have decreased, many still undertake the perilous trip across the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, often paying considerable sums to traffickers.