A major rescue operation took place earlier today at the Evros river, on the Greek-Turkish border in the region of Thrace, where there has been flooding recently, as 25 immigrants were trapped on one of the river islets’ embankment. The operation was held by the Greek Fire Brigade’s Special Counter-Disaster Unit (EMAK) amid bad weather conditions, with heavy rain and low temperatures.
According to first information, the 25 individuals are all men and were taken to the islet by a trafficker who abandoned them. The particular spot is currently accessible only by water, as the river’s water level has risen to an alarming level. Regional officials, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Coast Guard also cooperated for their rescue, while ambulances arrived on the spot for the immigrants’ direct transport to the nearest hospital in order to receive first aid, as their health condition is still unknown.
According to the Governor of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Giorgos Pavlidis, the Civil Protection Department was put on alert, while local authorities have already been mobilized in order to cover the immigrants’ basic needs, as they are reportedly exhausted by their adventure. As Evros’ deputy regional Governor, Dimitris Petrovic, explained, the 25 were probably stranded as they tried to cross the river due to the water’s high level.
The incident comes only a few days after some 700 immigrants were rescued 30 nautical miles southeast of Crete, sailing adrift on M/V “Baris.”