NEWS

Woman, child drown as migrant boat sinks off Lesvos

woman-child-drown-as-migrant-boat-sinks-off-lesvos

A woman and a child drowned off the Greek island of Lesvos after their boat sank, although 45 other people were rescued, police said Wednesday.

The Greek harbour police did not give the victims' ages and it was not clear if the two were related.

According to testimony from the survivors, 49 people had been on board the dinghy when it capsized in the Aegean Sea off the northern coast of Lesvos.

The island has become one of the main points of entry for thousands of migrants coming from Turkey whose coastline lies just eight nautical miles away.

Some 515,000 people have reached Europe by making crossing the Mediterranean this year, figures from the UN refugee agency show, many of them taking perilous journeys in inflatable dinghies.

More than half of them are fleeing the conflict in Syria.

Nearly 3,000 people have died or disappeared making the crossing since January, the agency said earlier this week.

[AFP]