Greece: 30 migrants picked up from islet off Crete

Aug 30, 2022, 5:17 AM | Updated: 5:58 am

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities say they have picked up a group of 30 people from a wooden boat that had lost steering and was drifting close to the rocky coast of a small islet north of Crete, in the latest case of boats carrying migrants running into trouble in southern Greece.

The coast guard said Tuesday they had received a distress call on Monday from the boat while it was sailing between Crete and the small island of Antikythera. The wooden motorboat was eventually located near the uninhabited islet of Gramvousa, just off the northwestern tip of Crete.

The 30 people on board, who included nine minors and four women, were transported to Crete, the coast guard said. There was no immediate information on their nationalities.

It was the latest of several migrant boats that have run into trouble and ended up on southern Greek islands in recent days. Over the weekend, the coast guard announced it had picked up 69 people on Friday from a sailboat that was drifting and had sent out a distress signal 26 nautical miles (30 miles, 48 kilometers) southwest of the Ionian island of Zakythnos.

The boat had set sail from the Turkish coast near Izmir on Aug. 22 and had been heading to Italy when it ran into trouble, the coast guard said.

The 69 — 61 people from Iran, two from Afghanistan and six from Turkey — were rescued by a passing cargo ship and taken to the southern mainland coast of Kalamata on Saturday, the coast guard said. The six Turks were arrested on suspicion of migrant smuggling.

Earlier this month, about 240 people arrived on the southern island of Kythera on three sailboats that had also set sail from Turkey and had been aiming directly for Italy.

For years, the preferred route for people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa was the much shorter sea route from Turkey to nearby Greek islands in the eastern Aegean.

But with Greek authorities increasing patrols in the area and facing persistent reports of pushbacks — summary and illegal deportations of new arrivals back to Turkey without allowing them to apply for asylum — more people are attempting to circumvent Greece and head directly to Italy.

Greece denies it carries out pushbacks, but insists it robustly protects its borders.

“No new tactic by smugglers and no new maneuver by Turkey will change our stance,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said during a speech at the start of a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, where he also touched on migration.

“We save the innocent, we protect our borders, and the other side should look at its own unguarded borders,” he said.


Follow AP’s coverage of migration issues at https://apnews.com/hub/migration

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Lead water pipes pulled from underneath the street are seen in Newark, N.J., Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Pho...

Associated Press

Biden to require cities to replace harmful lead pipes within 10 years

The Biden administration has previously said it wants all of the nation's roughly 9 million lead pipes to be removed, and rapidly.

4 days ago

Facebook's Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct. 28, 2...

Associated Press

Meta shuts down thousands of fake Facebook accounts that were primed to polarize voters ahead of 2024

Meta said it removed 4789 Facebook accounts in China that targeted the United States before next year’s election.

4 days ago

A demonstrator in Tel Aviv holds a sign calling for a cease-fire in the Hamas-Israel war on Nov. 21...

Associated Press

Hamas releases a third group of hostages as part of truce, and says it will seek to extend the deal

The fragile cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was back on track Sunday as the first American was released under a four-day truce.

9 days ago

Men look over the site of a deadly explosion at Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City, Wednesday, Oct. 18, ...

Associated Press

New AP analysis of last month’s deadly Gaza hospital explosion rules out widely cited video

The Associated Press is publishing an updated visual analysis of the deadly Oct. 17 explosion at Gaza's Al-Ahli Hospital.

12 days ago

Peggy Simpson holds a photograph of law enforcement carrying Lee Harvey Oswald's gun through a hall...

Associated Press

JFK assassination remembered 60 years later by surviving witnesses to history, including AP reporter

Peggy Simpson is among the last surviving witnesses who are sharing their stories as the nation marks the 60th anniversary.

12 days ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Sunday, ...

Associated Press

Israeli Cabinet approves cease-fire with Hamas; deal includes release of 50 hostages

Israel’s Cabinet on Wednesday approved a cease-fire deal with the Hamas militant group that would bring a temporary halt to a devastating war.

13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Follow @KTAR923...

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Follow @KTAR923...

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

Follow @KTAR923...

West Hunsaker at Morris Hall supports Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona

KTAR's Community Spotlight this month focuses on Morris Hall and its commitment to supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Arizona.

Greece: 30 migrants picked up from islet off Crete