Search for lost migrants ends

ISTANBUL (AP) – Turkey’s coast guard yesterday ended a search in the Mediterranean Sea for dozens of illegal migrants believed to have been aboard a wooden boat that sank over the weekend, with officials saying it was nearly impossible for any more survivors to be found. The sole known survivor of the shipwreck, an Iranian in his 20s who clung to a piece of wood for hours, said some 70 people had been aboard the 14-meter boat when it sank on Saturday. Turkish authorities, however, have so far only been able to confirm that 37 migrants who had stayed at a local hotel had been aboard the vessel. Huseyin Aksoy, governor of the southern Mugla province, said the coast guard searched for survivors all day yesterday, but gave up the search at 5 p.m. «After 72 hours, there is hardly any chance of recovering anyone alive.» The boat left the Turkish resort of Marmaris late Friday, and sank on its way to Rhodes. The Greek Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday it had called off its search for the day due to strong winds. [Greek searchers found 7 bodies.]