Turkish fishermen have accused the Greek Coast Guard of sinking an inflatable boat full of migrants who were trying to reach Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. Greek authorities have denied the allegation.
RT reports: A group of Turkish fisherman, who were cited by the Hurriyet Daily News, said that the Greek Coast Guard reportedly sank the boat with some sort of “lance.”
They filmed the incident, where a Greek patrol vessel was seen approaching an inflatable boat, though it does not show the Coast Guard making any contact with the dinghy. It was reported to be carrying around 50 Syrian migrants, with women and children also aboard. They had set sail off the coast of Izmir and were not far from the Greek islands of Kos and Lesbos.
As the Greek patrol boat moved away, one of fisherman can be heard on the video saying, “The boat is deflating, the boat’s taking on water and there are people on board.”
He then added: “The boat was pierced by what looks like a long lance,” the Telegraph reported.
The boat began to slowly sink, with dozens of the migrants forced to take to the sea. Some were picked up by a Turkish fishing vessel. They subsequently called the Turkish Coast Guard, who picked up the survivors.
The video was released on Thursday.
However, Greece has strenuously denied the account given by the Turkish fishermen. A spokesperson for the Greek Coast Guard’s admiral said that no such incident took place, according to the Greek Reporter.
Greek coast guard said it rescued about 600 refugees and migrants in 21 separate incidents off the Aegean islands of Kos, Rhodes, Chios, Samothraki and Lesbos on Thursday and Friday, the Telegraph reported.