12 Sea Invaders Drown Off Greek Coast

November 15, 2013

Dennis, you little rascal.  Maybe you should try a swimming race.
Dennis, you little rascal. Maybe you should try a swimming race.

Twelve migrants, including four children, drowned on Friday after their boat capsized just off a Greek island, the coastguard said, adding to the hundreds of deaths this year of people attempting the perilous Mediterranean crossing.

Greece is a major gateway into the European Union for migrants from Africa and the Middle East, who cross the sea often in unsafe boats. The breakdown of order in Libya and the civil war in Syria have increased the human traffic.

“The immigrants called police on their mobile to say their boat was in distress,” a coastguard official told Reuters.

The coastguard found fifteen survivors on the shore opposite the Ionian island of Lefkada and recovered 12 bodies, four of them children aged between three and six, another official said. Four bodies were found trapped in the 7-8 meter (7-8 yard) long fiberglass boat.

Some of the survivors said they were Syrians, one coastguard official said.

Hundreds of Eritreans and Somalis drowned earlier this month when a boat sank less than a kilometer (half a mile) from Lampedusa, a tiny island between Sicily and Tunisia which has become the main entry point into Europe for migrant boats.

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