The first results of the Hellenic Coast Guard’s ongoing operation to secure Greek maritime borders in the eastern Aegean – compiled by the National Integrated Maritime Surveillance System and seen by Kathimerini – show that from March 1 to 11 a total of 43 boats carrying 1,527 illegal migrants were intercepted by coast guard vessels, aided by navy and land forces.
The interceptions came on the heels of a decision by the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense for more offensive tactics.
It envisioned patrols along the border and bold maneuvers to oblige the Turkish Coast Guard to return migrant boats back to Turkey’s coast.
During the same period, the coast guard carried out 17 search and rescue operations, recovering from the sea and transporting 445 refugees and migrants to Greek shores. In addition, another 1,309 migrants were tracked down after landing on the islands of the eastern Aegean.