Search for migrant boat under way off Cephalonia

Search for migrant boat under way off Cephalonia

Three Greek coast guard vessels and a team of Frontex European border patrol officers were on Saturday looking for a migrant boat that issued a distress signal west of Cephalonia.

According to reports, the vessel is carrying 32 passengers, including 13 young children that are in need of medical assistance. One of the passengers reportedly called the 112 European hot line, saying the boat was in distress.

Authorities on the Ionian island have dispatched emergency medical crews to the port to meet the migrants.

“These people will stay on our island for as long as the formal procedures require it and they will receive humanitarian assistance until they are inducted in the return process,” the Cephalonia Regional Authority said in a statement, referring to a deal between the European Union and Ankara for Turkey to take back irregular migrants entering the bloc from its shores.

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