Migrant rescue led to tension with Turkish coast guard, sources say

Migrant rescue led to tension with Turkish coast guard, sources say

Coast guard officers on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos have said that a migrant rescue officially reported as having been carried out without incident had actually involved serious tension with Turkish counterparts on Wednesday.

Sources on the island speaking to Kathimerini said that a Hellenic Coast Guard patrol boat called out to rescue an undisclosed number of migrants and refugees on the maritime border between Greece and Turkey was harassed by Turkish counterparts when the Greek officers refused to turn the rubber boat over to them.

According to their claims, a second Turkish coast guard boat joined the first after the Greek crew refused to comply with its demand and started making dangerous and aggressive maneuvers around the Greek vessel. Its antics were such that the rope attaching the rubber dinghy to the Greek coast guard boat was severed.

The harassment reportedly continued all the way into Lesvos’s port in Mytilene, where a Hellenic Navy boat thwarted the continued advance of the Turkish vessels.

Earlier, the Hellenic Coast Guard had issued press release saying the rescue had been carried out without incident.

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