One migrant drowns, dozens believed missing off Greek island


One man drowned and dozens were feared missing after a migrant boat sank off Greece’s Folegandros island, the coast guard said on Wednesday.

Rescuers found 12 asylum-seekers, most of them Iraqis and Syrians, in the boat’s tender and took them to the nearby island of Santorini.

Citing testimonies from survivors, the coast guard said the boat was carrying between 32 to 50 people and started taking in water after suffering engine failure.

Greece is one of the main routes into the European Union for asylum-seekers arriving from Turkey but most cross on small rubber boats to Greek islands close to the Turkish coast. Folegandros, part of the Cyclades cluster of islands in the middle of the Aegean, is not along the typical route.

The search and rescue operation began late on Tuesday and involved four coast guard boats, five ships sailing in the area, two helicopters and a C-130 airplane. [Reuters]