The Greek coast guard confirmed that two migrants drowned when a speedboat overturned near the Greek island of Kos on Friday morning.
The bodies of two migrants, a man and a woman were recovered from the sea in the early hours of Friday, December 3, stated the Greek coast guard. Three men were also rescued from the same speedboat, which reportedly overturned "due to high waves and poor handling," wrote the French news agency Agence France Presse (AFP).
The nationalities of those in the boat have not yet been announced. Last week, the Greek authorities opened a new closed camp on the island of Kos and neighboring island Lerros.
According to the UN migration agency's Missing Migrants project, at least 1,780 people have died in the eastern Mediterranean route since 2014, many of them were headed towards Greece at the time.
Nearly 500 children have died on this route in that time period, many of them under five, as well as 266 women and 273 men. The majority of those who died were from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Across the whole Mediterranean, so also including the routes towards Italy and Spain, the Missing Migrants project estimates that at least 1,650 have died in 2021 to the end of November.
Just a few weeks ago, the Greek coast guard reported to IOM Greece that one man died in another boat accident off the island of Crete. Sixty people survived this incident. In October, the Greek coast guard reported four female migrants dead, one person missing and 22 survivors in another boat incident off the island of Chios. In this case, those involved were reported to be from Somalia.
According to the UN refugee agency, 8,145 migrants have arrived in Greece so far this year, 3,653 by sea -- 837 of whom arrived on the island of Kos, which is not far off the coast of Turkey. The figures are dated November 28.
Although the numbers of migrants on the Greek islands has been drastically reduced over the course of this year, news agencies estimate that around 96,000 migrants, asylum seekers and refugees remain in Greece, many on the mainland.
The NGO Aegean Boat Report states on its website that there are currently 864 migrants on the island of Kos. At the end of November, they said the numbers of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees on the main islands of Chios, Kos, Lerros, Lesbos and Samos stood at around 17,000.