Yacht carrying 70 passengers capsizes in Aegean Sea

11/1/2022 6:46:58 PM
 Remains of a boat that was carrying migrants seen on the shoreline near the Aegean town of Ayvacik, Canakkale, Turkey, Saturday, January 30, 2016.
 photo: AP
Only nine passengers have been rescued so far.

A yacht with 70 passengers, mostly Iraqi Kurds, capsized in Greek territorial waters. Greek Media reported that Greek authorities launched a search and rescue mission for the missing.

Greek-based reporter Ranj Pishdari told KurdSat that a yacht with 70 passengers, mostly Iraqi Kurds, was heading to Greece two days ago, they were then trapped near an island and called for help, but their yacht overturned. The boat had set sail from the Turkish coastal city of Izmir. 

video published by KurdSat English shows the passengers crying for help at night. The boat capsized on Monday night between Evia and Andros islands.

Most of the passengers were women and children, and only nine migrants had been rescued by the Turkish navy so far, Pishdari added. The Greek coastguard said on Tuesday that nine men had been found on an uninhabited rocky islet in the Kafirea Straits between the two islands, which lie east of Athens.

More than 1,300 migrants have died in the Mediterranean and Northwest Africa since the beginning of 2022, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). 

The majority of yachts that overturn are due to the smuggler’s negligence of the yacht’s load capacity; the smugglers usually overload the boats, as they charge the passengers per person, according to people that cross to Europe via the route. Also, the uneven load distribution on the boat leaves even a good boat vulnerable to sinking.

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