Five migrants drown off the Turkish coast

Five people have drowned off the Turkish coast, as they tried to reach the Greek islands, officials said.

The latest fatalities underscore the deadly risks taken by migrants making even short crossings to Europe in overcrowded smugglers’ boats. 

Turkish coast guards unloaded five body bags at the harbour of western tourist town, Bodrum, as rescued migrants, one man clutching his head in his hands, sat on the wharf.

Medical staff carried a wailing young boy, an oxygen mask around his neck, and a man, to ambulances. 

20 migrants were rescued and taken to a harbour in the town of Turgutreis. Details of the identities and nationalities of the dead were not available.

Ayberk Olcay, of the Bodrum Sea Rescue Association, said a baby’s body was also recovered and three more people, including a child, were rescued. 

It was not the only rescue in the Aegean Sea on Tuesday.

A Doctors Without Borders medical team, heading for the Greek island of Leros, chanced across a boat carrying 40 migrants, some of whom were in the sea, picked them up and took them to the Greek island of Kos. 

Men hugged and kissed one another, as the group, which included young children, reached Kos. 

“It shows that there is a need to increase the capacities in the search-and-rescue operations here,” Doctors Without Borders field co-ordinator, Elisa Galli, said.


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