Migrant ship sinks, fears that 60 lost

Scores of immigrants were feared dead yesterday after a survivor and Turkish officials said some 60 people had been aboard a small ship that sank while trying to sail from Turkey to the Greek island of Rhodes on Saturday. Yesterday a Greek ferry, the Patmos, collected the bodies of three people between the islands of Nisyros and Symi, near the area where the migrant ship is believed to have sunk. The crew of the Patmos had also spotted another four bodies, the chief of Greece’s coast guard, Christos Delimichalis, told state television last night. Greek coast-guard vessels were in the area, he said. The sinking, however, is believed to have taken place well within Turkish waters. Turkish officials notified the Greek authorities on Saturday that «a ship with illegal immigrants sank north of Rhodes, near the Turkish coast. They launched a search and requested our assistance,» Delimichalis said. Turkish authorities were searching off Marmaris, a holiday resort. The sole known survivor was found floating on a piece of wood late on Saturday, and gave the only account of the sinking. A Turkish coast-guard official identified him as an Iranian man in his 20s, The Associated Press said. The man, who was suffering from severe hypothermia, told police the boat had suddenly started to let in water and sank, private NTV television reported. He said a woman and a 10-year-old girl were among the passengers. The immigrants – believed to be from Jordan, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan – left Marmaris late on Saturday and were heading to Rhodes, local governor Huseyin Aksoy said, citing the survivor’s account.