Cypriot police rescue 60 Syrian migrants who were lost at sea

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Police in Cyprus have rescued 60 Syrian migrants who were lost at sea, after being found aboard a rickety boat.

Authorities revealed the migrants were lost at sea for six days, and were then located 55 kilometres off Cyprus’ south-eastern tip.

At least four of the people, including three children and one adult who were found, have been hospitalised. They were reported to have allegedly lost consciousness.

Cypriot migrants
Migrants from Syria sitting on a bus from Ayia Napa to the Pournara migrant reception center in Kokkinotrimithia, Cyprus. Photo: Petros Karadjias/AP.

Another three adults sustained fractures to their lower extremities were treated by officers aboard a patrol vessel that intercepted the rickety migrant boat. The boat was then towed to the harbour and all the migrants onboard then received medical assistance.

Authorities explained that the boat had departed from Lebanon on January 18, and it appeared as though the migrants on board had run short of their supply of food and water. The coastline of Lebanon is about 168 kilometres from Cyprus.

The Cypriot Interior Minister, Constantinos Ioannou said in a statement that the boat’s arrival was “unfortunate proof” of how people-smuggling rings were endangering lives, by forcing migrants to make journeys aboard unsuitable craft.

The Minister then told European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson while she visited Cyprus about the need for the EU to put together a unit composed of Europol members, with Lebanese officials and Cypriot police tasked with patrolling Lebanon’s borders.

Source: Ekathimerini.

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