(MENAFN) Two individuals lost their lives when a migrant boat capsized on Wednesday off the Greek island of Lesbos in the Aegean Sea, with up to 16 people still missing, as reported by port police.
An inflatable dinghy, originating from the nearby Turkish coast, ran aground on the rocky shores of Agios Georgios, east of Lesbos, around 3:00 AM local time (01:00 GMT), propelled by strong winds.
Of the 36 people aboard the boat, 18 migrants managed to disembark the dinghy, and two bodies were discovered in the sea near the coast, according to an official from the coast guard’s office.
The remaining 16 individuals reportedly dispersed after the boat ran aground and are currently unaccounted for.
Due to adverse weather conditions leading to a sailing ban, coast guard patrol boats were unable to conduct sea searches on Wednesday.
Lesbos serves as a key entry point for migrants seeking to enter the European Union, often undertaking perilous sea journeys. Greece has intensified patrols in the Aegean Sea with the assistance of the European Union's border protection agency, Frontex.
In a tragic incident in June, a dilapidated boat capsized and sank off Pylos in the Peloponnese, resulting in the drowning of 82 people, while hundreds were reported missing.
Forty survivors have collectively filed a lawsuit against Greek authorities, alleging inadequate action before the boat sank.
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