Children die as migrant boat overturns off rocky coast of Greece | News | DW | 01.11.2015
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Children die as migrant boat overturns off rocky coast of Greece

A boat headed towards the Greek island of Samos has smashed against the rocky coast claiming several lives, according to the Greek coast guard. Authorities found bodies of children, including four babies, in the wreck.

At least 11 refugees died when the refugee vessel capsized on Sunday, according to Greek officials.

The migrants were attempting to reach Samos from Turkey when their small plastic boat hit a rocky stretch of the coast. The boat then overturned and sank in water only 3 meters (10 feet) deep.

The coastguard managed to save 15 people and there was an ongoing search for "one or two missing," people, a spokeswoman said.

Rescue teams recovered ten bodies from the overturned boat, while the body of a young girl was washed up on the shore. A total of six children died in the incident, including four babies.

Strong winds, occasionally reaching up to 50 kph (31 mph) have been hitting the area in recent days.

Rough seas

The Sunday tragedy is only the latest instance of refugees dying on the short but perilous journey from Turkey to the Greek islands.

On Friday, a boat carrying 150 refugees sank near Kalymnos due to rough weather, prompting a large rescue operation. A smaller vessel went down near Rhodes on the same day, with the two incidents claiming a total of 26 lives, including those of 17 children.

Some 560,000 migrants have tried to cross into Greece since the beginning of the year, and the flow continues despite the worsening weather.

dj/jm (AFP, AP, dpa)

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