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85 Illegal Immigrants Found in the Aegean Sea

illegal immigrantsEighty-five illegal immigrants, including 15 children and 20 women, were found on board a sailing boat, 5.6 miles south-west of the island of Astypalaia. In difficult weather conditions, the Greek Coast Guard rescued the group and transferred them safely to the island, where they were admitted to the community clinic.
The sailing vessel sent a Mayday distress signal early on Thursday morning. Instantly the Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center was alerted and two patrol boats, a naval ship and the freighter LION were rushed to the scene.
Greek Minister of Mercantile Marine, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis was in constant touch about the operation, along with the chief of the Hellenic Coast Guard, Dimitris Bantias.
While still on board, the immigrants were offered food and water. They were safely transferred to the Coast Guard patrol boats and taken to nearby Astypalaia. Their vessel was towed to the island by another Coast Guard boat.
Astypalaia has only one doctor so after an initial assessment of their condition, the Ministry of Mercantile Marine in cooperation with the Greek Police will arrange for their transfer to a larger island in order for more detail examination and if necessary treatment.

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