Migrant boat capsizes off Turkey; 9 killed, dozens missing
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A boat carrying migrants has capsized off Turkey’s Aegean coast, killing at least nine people, the coast guard said Wednesday. A search and rescue mission was underway for some 25 migrants who are believed to be missing.
The boat with up to 35 migrants on board capsized Monday evening off the Turkish coast, according to a statement by an Iraqi woman who swam back to shore and sought help from Turkish authorities. Her statement to police was obtained by the state-run Anadolu Agency.
The 30-year-old woman boarded the boat at the resort town of Foca, in Izmir province on Monday, together with her husband and their five children, Anadolu reported. There were a total of between 30 and 35 migrants on the boat, she was quoted as telling police.
Her children, who had life vests, went missing when the boat capsized. The woman and her husband started to swim toward the coast, she said, but by Tuesday afternoon her husband could no longer “resist” the waves and died. She was quoted as saying that she was in the water for about 28 hours.
The coast guard said it had dispatched vessels, a plane and a helicopter to search for the missing. The bodies of nine migrants have been recovered so far, it said.
Although their numbers have decreased in recent years, migrants still try to cross into Greece from neighboring Turkey in the hopes of making their way to other European countries.