At least 13 migrants, including four children have perished, as a boat that was taking them to what they thought was freedom collided with a ferry off the Turkish coast. The deaths are just the latest in a series of fatalities as refugees make the hazardous journey across the Mediterranean Sea in search of a better life for themselves or their families.
According to the Turkish coastguard the accident happened close to the port of Canakkale on the southern coast of the Dardanelles region of Turkey. Four children were among the victims of the accident involving a boat that was carrying 46 people as it made its way from Canakkle to the island of Lesbos. Twenty people were rescued from the inflatable dingy, there is no information to the nationality of the occupants of the boat.
Series of drownings
The sinking is the second today (20 September) in the Aegean sea, as the Greek coastguard has already reported that another 26 refugees had been lost at sea, feared drowned. The EU border agency Frontex had rescued 20 people from a different vessel using a helicopter. Survivors said that there had been another 26 people in the boat.
On Saturday, another tragedy was unveiled as authorities reported that a five year-old Syrian girl had died in an attempt to cross from Turkey to Greece.
According to the International Organisation for Migration, 249,650 refugees and migrants entered the EU via Mediterranean countries between January and the end of July this year, and a further 2,349 died, many drowning during treacherous sea crossings.
The pressure on governments across Europe and the UK to accept more refugees has reached boiling point as more arrive across the seas to Turkish, Greek and Italian ports and beaches. Thousands of migrants are now breaking official protocol walking thousands of miles across European borders to make their way to preferred countries including Germany and the UK.