| 23 April 2024, Tuesday |

Investigation into Greek shipwreck suggests coastguard responsible for sinking

The Guardian and its media partners have conducted a new investigation that indicates the Greek coastguard’s efforts to tow a fishing trawler carrying numerous migrants may have led to the sinking of the trawler. It is estimated that around 500 people went missing as a result of the sinking. This investigation has brought up additional inquiries regarding the incident, raising concerns about the actions of the Greek coastguard.
The trawler was carrying migrants from Libya to Italy and sank off the coast of Greece on June 14. The tragedy left 104 survivors but a hundreds more went missing.

The Guardian said that interviews with 20 survivors were carried out. The investigation also drew on court documents and coastguard sources to build a picture of rescue oppotunities that were missed and offers of assistance that were ignored. Multiple survivors said that attempts by the Greek coastguard to to tow the migrant vessel caused it to sink.
Greek coastguard has assertively denied any attempt to tow the trawler.

Forensis, a Berlin-based research agency founded by Forensic Architecture recreated the night of the tragedy using an interactive 3D model of the boat

The joint investigation by the Guardian, German public broadcaster ARD/NDR/Funk and Greek investigative outlet Solomon had a collaboration with Forensis. The investigation has reportedly found new evidence such as a coastguard vessel moored at a port closeby was never sent to the scene of the tragedy. It has also been reportedly found that Greek authorities failed not two but three times to offer help by Frontex, the EU border and coastguard agency.

Forensis made use of data from the coastguard’s log and the testimony of the coastguard vessel captain along with flight paths, maritime traffic data, images from satellites and other videos. It mapped the last few hours before sinking of the vessel.
The investigation has reportedly found that the ship’s last movements are in contradiction with the information from the coastguard. It reveals inconsistencies in the official account of events.

More importantly, Guardian said it was found that the overcrowded trawler started moving westward after meeting single Greek coastguard vessel that was sent to the scene.

Contradicting info
Multiple survivor testimonies have revealed to the Guardian and Greek prosecutors that Greek coastguard told the migrants that they will be led to Italy. This contradicts with Greek coastguard’s official vesion that the trawler started moving west on its own. The investigation has also revealed that the trawler had turned to the south and was stationary for an hour before second towing attempt took place. This proved to be fatal.

Guardian quoted a survivor who said that trawler was towed for 10 minutes by the Greeks following which it sank.

“I feel that they have tried to push us out of Greek water so that their responsibility ends,” the survivor said as quoted by the Guardian.

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