Deadly shipwreck off Lesvos island claims seven lives

© UNHCR/Socrates Baltagiannis

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is deeply saddened at reports today of seven dead, including two children, after their boat sank in the Aegean Sea off the Greek island of Lesvos. The Hellenic Coast Guard has taken 57 survivors to the port town of Mytilene. UNHCR staff are on the ground to provide support to survivors and Greek authorities by all means necessary.

“This tragedy is a painful reminder that people continue to take perilous journeys to reach the Greek Aegean islands,” said Philippe Leclerc, UNHCR Representative in Greece. “Redoubled efforts are needed to ensure safe and legal ways to reach Europe, so people stop risking their lives in the hands of ruthless traffickers and smugglers.”

Nearly 10,700 refugees and migrants have reached Greece so far this year by sea, and 39 people have lost their lives while attempting the journey.