3 more bodies found after Greek boat tragedy – Middle East Monitor

Three more bodies have been found in the area where a fishing vessel carrying 750 refugees capsized after being left at sea and in distress for six hours by Greek authorities.

The overcrowded trawler sank off the southwest coast of Greece in the early hours of 14 June.

It was the sixth day of the search and rescue operation and the discovery of the three men has raised the official death toll to 81.

It is likely that hundreds of bodies will never be found.

Most of the passengers on board were Syrian, Egyptian, Pakistani and Palestinian. Of the 400 Pakistanis on board, only 12 are thought to have survived.

Reports from survivors say Pakistani passengers were forced below deck where children were locked up, which would have made it harder for them to escape.

None of the survivors who have been found were the people in the hold of the ship.

Experts have said that the boat was clearly in distress and that a rescue operation should have been launched far earlier.

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Reports suggest that the Greek coastguard knew the trawler was in trouble before it capsized. The engine cut out leaving the boat stationary for some seven hours before it overturned.

Greek authorities have said the boat didn’t need help as it was continuing the journey to Italy.

The UN has called for an investigation into the tragedy and why more wasn’t done to rescue the vessel when it was in trouble and the European Commission has said that the investigation should be “thorough and transparent”.

Nine Egyptians who survived have been charged with human trafficking in what is the worst tragedy in recent years.

It comes not long after an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the Summer Love, a boat carrying 200 people which crashed into the rocks near an Italian village in February.

Following that disaster, journalists, survivors and their families asked if more could have been done to save the 94 people who died, and why the Italian authorities and Europe’s border and coastguard agency Frontex did not intervene.

Europe’s border and coastguard agency Frontex clocked the ship roughly six hours before it crashed onto the rocks, a flight operator reported strong winds and a pilot reported that the Summer Love was a possible migrant vessel yet it was hours before a rescue operation was launched.

Frontex later tried to hide the fact that the pilot had warned about the strong winds, writing in a press release that the rescue plane returned because it was running out of fuel.

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