Hundreds of migrants are towed to safety

A Turkish-flagged vessel, transporting 275 illegal Iraqi immigrants, was towed to safety in a port in the Peloponnese yesterday after foundering in rough seas on Saturday night. Authorities said the captain of the Aktag motor ship, which was bound for Italy after leaving Turkey, sent out a call for help late on Saturday after experiencing engine failure about 11 miles off Katakola. The 12 crew members and the ship’s captain were all Turkish nationals. Small coast guard vessels could not immediately respond because of winds of up to 100 kilometers an hour and rough seas. Yesterday a larger Greek ship towed the vessel to Katakola and the illegal immigrants, including women and children, were taken for health checks. Sources said that 12 of the children were hospitalized with signs of dehydration and hypothermia.