| 23 April 2024, Tuesday |

Migrant boat that sank off Greece was stationary for hours before disaster

Recent evidence acquired by the British broadcaster BBC casts doubt on the account provided by the Greek coast guard regarding the circumstances surrounding the tragic sinking of a heavily overcrowded migrant-filled fishing boat last week. The incident resulted in the loss of at least 79 lives, with numerous others still missing.
The boat capsized and sank off southwestern Greece early Wednesday. While more than 100 passengers were rescued, nearly 500 are missing in the surrounding waters of the Mediterranean Sea, according to UN officials.

The BBC has obtained computer animation of tracking data from MarineTraffic, a maritime analytics platform.

An analysis of the movements of other vessels in the vicinity based on the data indicates that the overcrowded fishing boat had been stationary for at least seven hours before it overturned. This contradicts the Greek coast guard’s assertion that the boat was heading towards Italy and did not require assistance during that time.

In light of the new information, however, the United Nations has called for an investigation into Greece’s handling of the disaster. There are concerns that more decisive action should have been taken earlier to initiate a comprehensive rescue operation.

Greek officials maintain that those on board the vessel said they did not want help and were not in immediate danger until moments before their boat sank.

  • Anadolu Agency