Rescuers search for missing migrants after boat sinks off Lesbos

Rescuers search for missing migrants after boat sinks off Lesbos

Rescuers are searching for 26 people who are missing after a boat with 46 migrant refugees sank off the Greek island of Lesbos.

The coast guard said a Lithuanian helicopter from the European border patrol agency Frontex spotted people in the sea off the south-eastern coast of Lesbos early today.

Two coast guard vessels headed to the area and have rescued 20 people. The survivors said there were a total of 46 people on board.

On Saturday, the Greek coast guard said a five-year-old girl found in the sea off the island of Lesbos died after her boat sank. Fourteen others are still missing.

The Italian coast guard said it had coordinated the rescue of 4,343 migrants from smugglers’ boats off the coast of Libya in just one day. Adding to the tally, a Norwegian vessel rescued another 335 people.

Hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers, mostly Syrians and Afghans fleeing conflict at home, have arrived in Greece from the nearby Turkish coast so far this year.

Elsewhere thousands of migrants crossed in to Austria, seeking refuge after shuttling for days between bordering countries that were unable or unwilling to offer them shelter.

Hungary’s decision to shut its border with Serbia on September 15 set off a chain reaction in Croatia and Slovenia that has forced people fleeing violence in their homelands to rush from one European border to the next as they desperately try to find their way north.

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