EU patrol rescues 900 migrants at sea

A Greek coastguard helps a migrant child to disembark, at the port of Mytilene, on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey, on February 18, 2016.

A Greek coastguard helps a migrant child to disembark, at the port of Mytilene, on the Greek island of Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey, on February 18, 2016.


The EU border agency Frontex said one of its maritime patrols rescued around 900 migrants on Thursday near the Greek island of Lesbos as weather conditions have made the sea crossing more dangerous.

“We’re picking up all the migrants we encounter (at sea) because bad weather and cold make the risks much higher now than in the summer,” Ewa Moncure told AFP.

The migrants were picked up by a Bulgarian ship working in Frontex patrols between the port of Mytilene on Lesbos and the Turkish coast, a distance of around eight kilometres (five miles)

During the summer months, up to 7,000 refugees and migrants arrived in EU member Greece every day after making the trip across the Aegean Sea from Turkey in makeshift or overcrowded boats, and many including children have drowned.

A photograph of three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi, face down in the sand on a Turkish beach, shocked the world when it was published in September 2015 after his family decided to make the risky journey to Greece in an open boat.

More than a million people, mostly refugees and migrants from war-torn Syria and Iraq, arrived in the European Unon last year amid the worst crisis of its kind in Europe since World War II.


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