Greek authorities say a rescue operation is underway for a “significant number” of migrants on board a boat in the Mediterranean south of Crete, and about 250 people have been rescued so far.
The coast guard said the boat, carrying an undetermined number of people, was located Friday about 75 nautical miles south of Crete in international waters. Four nearby ships were participating in the rescue operation, while two Greek patrol boats and two helicopters were on their way.
Further details were not immediately available. The short crossing from the Turkish coast to Greek islands was the preferred route for migrants heading to Europe until Balkan countries closed their borders. The number of people attempting to head to Europe from the north African coast has since increased.