Hundreds of migrants are missing after their ship sank off the coast of Greece.

Hundreds of migrants are missing after their ship sank off the coast of Greece.

Hundreds of migrants are missing after their ship sank off the coast of Greece. The disaster off the coast of Greece is the bloodiest this year, with at least 78 confirmed deaths and dozens more missing.

The boat they were in capsized off the southern Peloponnese, killing everybody on board, nearly all men from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The ship left eastern Libya bound for Italy with an estimated passenger count of several hundred. It was hard to tell if it was a cargo ship or a fishing trawler.

One official stated, “The death toll has increased dramatically and is continuing to rise.” There has been widespread speculation that as many as 600 passengers were on board, although no confirmation of this has been made. The ship has sunk to the ocean floor. Its shipwreck is complete. As of Wednesday afternoon, he estimated that 104 passengers had been saved.

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Kalamata, a town in the Peloponnese, was receiving a disproportionate number of casualties, and Greek national media ERT reported extraordinary scenes there.

Rescue efforts included public and private vessels from the coast guard and navy, as well as military transport planes, a helicopter, and other aircraft. Strong winds initially impeded rescue efforts.

Late on Tuesday, the shipwrecked vessel was reported to Greek police and the EU border agency Frontex. Agents from the international organization Frontex have stepped up patrols in the conflict zone. They initially detected the boat in international waters some 50 miles south-west of the town of Pylos in southern Greece.

The risks taken by smugglers to avoid being caught are increasing. They are venturing out into international waters more frequently, with Italy as their destination rather than the tightly patrolled Greek islands.

Natassa Strachimi, a lawyer with Refugee Support Aegean, an NGO that offers legal advice to asylum seekers, stated, “We are seeing a growing number plying open seas that are more dangerous because they are prone to more stormy weather.” It’s taking a lot longer to get there because Italy is the final destination.

On the same day, a yacht carrying more than 80 migrants was hauled to a harbor in the southern portion of the island, prompting a rescue operation off the coast of Crete.

Critics have accused Greece of breaking international law by forcibly expelling asylum seekers. The pushbacks have been disputed by the country’s former center-right administration, which is up for re-election in elections later this month.

A video showing refugees on Lesbos being forcibly loaded into a Greek coastguard vessel, then being set adrift and picked up by the Turkish coastguard, was leaked last month.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who served until May, and Alexis Tsipras, the main opposition socialist leader, both said they would be halting their campaigns for the upcoming election as the magnitude of the tragedy became clear.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, expressed her “deep sadness” at the incident. EU interior ministers agreed last week to sweeping changes to migration rules and a new partnership with Tunisia to limit migration, including designated cash to minimize deaths in the Mediterranean.

The United Nations estimates that so far this year, some 72,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in the Mediterranean coast countries of Italy, Spain, Greece, Malta, and Cyprus. For a very long time, Greece has been a major destination for refugees from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

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