Survivors of deadly migrant shipwreck off Greece describe their ordeal

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Ekathimerini has published parts from the depositions of two survivors of the deadly boat tragedy in which more than 500 migrants are feared to have drowned in international waters.

The depositions belong to two migrants, 23-year-old Hassan from Syria and 24-year-old Rana from Pakistan, who described their journey from Libya.

Hassan mentioned that during the four days boat journey they were given “minimal food and dirty water.” He paid 10 euros to one of the 15 passengers who were working for the traffickers in order to move to the boat deck because he was struggling to breathe.

The boat captain, whom the passengers thought had lost his way, only called for help on his satellite phone on Tuesday night.

According to AP News, when the Greek coast vessel arrived during the night, the trawler suddenly capsized and Hassan found himself in the water. The Greek coast guard rescued him and others, he said, lifting them into an inflatable boat. Two or three other ships came during the night to help.

In all, 104 survivors were rescued and 78 bodies retrieved.

Photo: intime

Rana, a Pakistani citizen whose wife and children did not survive the shipwreck, described how after leaving Libya on June 9, the engine stopped after three days at sea. Despite a crew member fixing it many times, the engine continued to malfunction.  

Suddenly, Rana said, the boat started sinking on one side and taking on water. In the ensuing panic, many rushed to the opposite side and it was then that the boat capsized. Rana jumped into the sea and, despite not knowing how to swim, stayed afloat for a few minutes until a “large ship” retrieved him.

Source: AP News and Ekathimerini.

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