A sailboat carrying dozens of migrants has been towed to safety, the Greek coast guard said. Overnight, the vessel sent a distress signal after getting caught in rough waters off mainland Greece.
A total of 75 people — 69 men and six women — were saved by the Greek coast guard during the operation. There were no reports of injuries nor any missing people.
The boat issued a distress call while sailing about 5 kilometers south of Cape Maleas — the southeastern-most tip of the Peloponnese peninsula.
A search and rescue operation was launched thereafter, and the boat was towed to a nearby port on Friday (October 21) morning. Authorities did not share any details on the passengers' nationalities, nor was there any information available on where the vessel had departed from or where it was headed.
New routes — same dangers
While most migrant boats intercepted in Greek waters depart from the Turkish coast and head for the Greek islands, there are growing numbers of boats caught in distress picked up further south.
More and more migrants and refugees are trying to bypass Greece and are instead using bigger boats to head to Italy instead. However, despite sailing on a larger vessel, the journey to Italy can be just as dangerous:
Earlier this month, nine people died when a yacht carrying about 100 migrants sank during gales and storms. Six people remain missing from that journey.