Authorities find 16 migrants washed up on beaches as double boat disaster kills 21 off Turkey

Authorities find 16 migrants washed up on beaches as double boat disaster kills 21 off Turkey

At least 21 migrants have drowned off Turkey after their boats overturned in rough waters in two separate incidents as they tried to reach the Greek island of Lesbos, authorities said.

Nine bodies washed up on a beach in the resort town of Ayvalik early on Tuesday, prompting authorities to dispatch coast guard boats and gendarmerie officials to search the area by sea and by land for possible survivors.

By late morning, the death toll reached 14, the coast guard said, adding that seven other migrants were either rescued or found alive.

Hours later, the private Dogan news agency reported that seven other bodies had washed up on shore at Dikili, a resort about 30 miles south of Ayvalik, the victims of a second migrant tragedy. The dead included women and children, the agency said.

Around 850,000 migrants and refugees crossed into Greece last year, paying smuggling gangs to ferry them over from Turkey in frail boats. Hundreds have lost their lives during the crossings.

The International Organisation for Migration said an estimated 3,770 people died crossing the Mediterranean Sea last year, making 2015 the deadliest year on record for migrants and refugees trying to reach Europe.

Namik Kemal Nazli, the local administrator for Ayvalik, told the state-run Anadolu Agency that the victims of the first incident are believed to be from Iraq, Algeria and Syria. There was no information on the nationalities of those drowned in the second incident.

A body, still wearing a life jacket, was pulled from the sea on to the beach at Ayvalik by a fisherman and a military police official. Other bodies, also in lifejackets, were seen lying nearby.

More in this Section

Democrats cry foul ahead of start of Donald Trump’s impeachment hearingDemocrats cry foul ahead of start of Donald Trump’s impeachment hearing

Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal suffers fourth defeat in LordsBoris Johnson’s Brexit deal suffers fourth defeat in Lords

Nancy Pelosi pays tribute to Auschwitz victims ahead of liberation anniversaryNancy Pelosi pays tribute to Auschwitz victims ahead of liberation anniversary

Jess Phillips quits UK Labour leadership raceJess Phillips quits UK Labour leadership race


Lifestyle

Hannah Stephenson has advice on how to care for your garden when wet weather strikesHow to prevent and deal with waterlogging in the garden

If you're down in the epidermal dumps, exfoliation, hydration and decongesting is what you need.The Skin Nerd: How to prep and pep that played-out January skin

The Winter Show, which gets underway in New York this Friday, is a celebration of world cultures, from antiquity to the present.Time travellers are packing their suitcases for New York this week

“Finish him!” It’s one of the most famous lines in video games – in fact, they pretty much built the entire series around it. Mortal Kombat is notorious for brutal finishing moves, in which the characters kill off their opponents in horrific (and often humourous) fashion.Game Tech: Mortal line lives on in the cinema

More From The Irish Examiner