Eight people died after a boat carrying migrants sank near the Greek island of Kos Monday morning. A search and rescue operation is ongoing.
A boat carrying dozens of migrants sank just a few kilometers from the coast of the Greek island of Kos, leaving eight dead and one unaccounted for on Monday.
The Turkish coast guard said the eight bodies were found inside the boat at a depth of 32 meters (105 feet) according to a statement. The coast guard said they rescued 31 other migrants from the sea.
There was an ongoing search and rescue operation for the missing migrant, which involved two coast guard boats, a helicopter and a team of divers, according to AFP. It is unclear how the boat sank. It was not immediately known which country or countries the migrants were from.
The Aegean Route
Many migrants and refugees fleeing their homes traveled through Turkey on their way to reach Europe. At the peak of the migration influx in 2015, more than one million migrants traveled from Turkey into Greece, primarily via boats. However, a March 2016 deal between Turkey and the European Union dramatically reduced the flow of migrants from Turkey. The number of migrants that traveled to the Greek islands was 875,000 in 2015, but fell to less than 40,000 per year in 2017 and 2018, according to Frontex, the EU's border force.
Hundreds still attempt to cross into Greece via the Aegean Sea every week. Between January and June 2019, 555 migrants died attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea, of which the Aegean Sea is a part of. The figure is much lower than the peak of 2,911 deaths in 2016.