In the last two weeks, there has been an increase in bigger boats trying to cross from Turkey towards the Greek Aegean islands. These boats are usually old, in very bad condition, and can’t be seen as anything else than death traps.
A total of 450 people have tried to cross on 4 of these bigger boats in the last ten days.
August 25thA boat carrying 98 people went down outside Rhodes, 96 people rescued, 2 missing.
August 26thA boat carrying 145 people tried to cross towards Lesvos north, picked up by TCG outside Ayvacik.
September 2thA boat carrying 77 people tried to cross towards Lesvos south, picked up by TCG outside Karaburun.
September 3thA boat carrying 130 people tried to cross towards Chios, picked up by TCG outside Cesme.
The Smugler’s pack these boats with people, without any consideration on how many people these boats can carry. Usually they put children and women under deck, to protect them from the wetter, but the same people will be trapped inside the boat if the boat capsizes. Life jackets are usually not used, it would take up to much room in the boat, and Smugler’s won’t allow it.
We have seen boats like this go down in the past with catastrophic consequences, overload and in bad condition, it could capsize even under good weather conditions.
If this alarming trend continues, we will have a major disaster on our hands, again!
It’s not a question of if, but when..