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Sailboat In Distress South East of Koroni

A sailboat carrying approximately 90 people, all from Afghanistan, is currently drifting 35km south east of Koroni.

The boat has lost power on the engine and the person sailing the boat abandoned ship during the night.

Report on water entering the boat has been received. People onboard the sailboat needs to be rescued immediately and taken to a port of safety.

People onboard have called 112 and provided rescue services with their location, they were told to be patient..

From videos and pictures from the sailboat we can clearly see that the sailboat is dangerously overloaded, approximately 40 men, 30 women and 20 children are onboard.

Some of the men onboard is trying to fix the engine, but without proper tools and spear parts this is close to impossible.

The sailboat is drifting in a busy shipping lane, several ships have passed the drifting sailboat without any efforts to give assistance at sea.

The group has expressed that they want to apply for asylum in Greece, and that they fear being sent back to Turkey, for then to be deported back to Afghanistan.

Aegean Boay Report can’t do much in cases like this, besides to document and publish their case. In this area Greek coast guard is the only alternative, and if they don’t want to perform the rescue, there exists no others Solution.

We hope that the Greek coast guard finds and rescue this group, without any further delay, so that they can as soon as possible be taken to a port of safety.

Aegean Boat Report has also informed the Greek coast guard of this emergency, they reluctantly, and after some persuasion, registered the information, location, number of people and contact number.

Update 21.00 pm:

The sailboat is still drifting, so far the Greek coast guard have not started any rescue operation, even do they were informed over five hours ago.

Several commercial vessel have passed by the sailboat in the distance, if the Greek authorities had wanted to rescue them, it would not be difficult to find vessels close by to assist.

Two hours ago a Lambro 57 patrol vessel belonging to the Greek coast guard was spotted a few hundred meters from the boat, it stayed there for an hour before moving further away.

It’s getting dark and the wind and waves are picking up.

Wind direction is south east, that might become a problem during the night, when the sailboat will be drifting towards the cliffs in Gerolimenas 16 km away.

The last 5 hours the boat have drifted 14km, if the wind picks up even further the boat will crash into the cliffs in approximately 5-6 hours, if not rescued by Greek coast guard.

Hopefully it will not come to that, but at night in the dark, wind picking up, makes a rescue operation more challenging.

Update 02.09.22 21.00 pm:

Since last night there has been no contact with the passengers on the sailboat that was drifting outside Koroni.

Aegean Boat Report followed the sailboats movement until 23.00 pm, it then had drifted 30 km south east.

From the boat we received several videos taken outside in the dark, we can see lights in the distance, we assume the some of these lights are from vessels from the Greek coast guard that was observed earlier this evening.

From a video taken inside the boat last night, they beg for help, unfortunately no such help arrived. “ The boat is broken, Greek coast guard came and circled around us, but refused to help us. There is about 100-120 people her, children and women, we need help. There is water inside the boat, we are going to drown, the waves are high and we need emergency help”. The number of people he is referring to is not correct, as far as we have been able to confirm there were 87 people onboard this sailboat.

We have made inquiries regarding the whereabouts of this group from the drifting sailboat. The Greek coast guard claims that they found no sailboat in the area, nor any signs of a shipwreck. It’s very strange to claim that they have found no boat, when we have pictures of a vessel from the Hellenic coast guard a few hundred meters from the sailboat, there is no way they didn’t see them. Let’s just say that it’s quite obvious that the headquarters in Pireus is not telling the truth, so what reason do they have to lie?

We have just managed to confirm, from relatives and friends of the passengers from the sailboat, that the group are now back in Turkey. Turkish coast guard also confirmed that they found and rescued 87 people from 3 life rafts drifting in the Aegean Sea.

The Greek coast guard found and rescued 87 people from a sailboat drifting deep inside Greek waters, transported them not to a port of safety, but over 500km towards Turkish waters, and left them drifting in 3 life rafts. It was reported that there were at least 20 small children in the group.

More information on this case will be published on Aegean Boat Report, when we have finished the investigation and gathered more documentation.

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