Europe’s Deadliest Shipping Disaster: 79 Dead, Hundreds Missing Off Greek Coast

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A tragic maritime tragedy off the Greek coast unfolds as an overloaded boat capsizes, leaving 79 migrants dead and hundreds more missing. The vessel, carrying approximately 750 individuals, was en route from Libya to Italy.

Deadliest Migrant Shipwreck off Greek Coast Claims Dozens of Lives. (Photo: Reuters)

Tragedy struck as an overloaded ship capsized and sank off the Greek coast, resulting in the drowning of at least 79 migrants and leaving hundreds more feared dead.

This devastating incident ranks among Europe’s deadliest shipping disasters in recent years, occurring in the early hours of Wednesday.

Rescue operations were immediately launched to locate and save any survivors.

Conflicting reports emerged regarding the number of people on board the vessel. A European rescue-support charity estimated approximately 750 individuals, while the UN’s migration agency suggested a figure of up to 400.

By midday, 104 people had been successfully rescued, and preliminary information revealed that the ill-fated boat had set sail from Libya.

The majority of migrants aboard were believed to originate from Egypt, Syria, and Pakistan, highlighting the diverse range of nationalities affected by this heartbreaking event.

The search and rescue operations persisted tirelessly throughout the day and night, aided by military aircraft that deployed flares to illuminate the Mediterranean waters surrounding the wreckage site.

The location of the incident was approximately 50 miles (80 km) southwest of Pylos, a southern coastal town in Greece.

Survivors were transported to the Greek port of Kalamata near Pylos, where they received immediate medical attention and temporary shelter.

According to the Greek coast guard, they had approached the vessel and offered assistance earlier.

However, the migrants on the outer deck declined help and expressed their determination to continue their journey.

Sadly, a few hours later, the vessel began to capsize and eventually sank around 2 am on Wednesday.

In response to the tragedy, the Greek caretaker administration declared a three-day period of national mourning.

This shipwreck stands as one of the deadliest incidents to occur off the Greek coast in recent years, with the previous major incident taking place in February when 96 people lost their lives after their boat crashed into rocks on Italy’s Calabrian coast during a storm.

Greece has served as a prominent entry point into the European Union for refugees and migrants originating from various regions.

The implementation of stricter controls at migrant camps has driven more individuals to undertake longer and riskier sea journeys from Turkey to Italy through Greece.

The Greek migration ministry held international smuggling networks accountable for endangering the lives of migrants, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees urged governments to collaborate in establishing safe pathways for individuals escaping poverty and conflict.

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Toshika Chauhan

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