The boat capsized due to heavy winds, leaving at least one woman and two children dead. Search efforts carried on into the night, the Greek coast guard said.At least three people drowned and 56 were rescued when a migrant boat capsized due to heavy winds off the island of Crete on Monday evening, the Greek coast guard said.Among the dead were a woman and two children.
The bodies were found 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers, 14 miles) off the island’s eastern coast. One of the passengers on the boat had made an emergency call for help when the ship was struck by winds of up to 61 kilometers per hour.Four coast guards, military ships and two helicopters were still searching the area off the eastern coast of the island. It was unclear where the boat originated and the nationality of the migrants was not immediately announced.
The Coast Guard said efforts continued into the late evening to locate other people who may be in the water.Since becoming one of the main crossing points to Europe for migrants and asylum seekers in 2015, Greece has built several camps and reception centers on its surrounding islands. However, the camps are often overcrowded.
Athens accused migrants on Monday of deliberately burning down the overcrowded Moria camp last week on the island of Lesvos, following a blaze that left more than 12,000 people homeless.More than 74,500 migrants and refugees arrived in Greece in 2019, most of them by sea, according to the United Nations refugee agency.