Greek Coast Guard saves 47 migrants off Samos

Greek Coast Guard officers rescued 47 would-be migrants off the coast of Samos, near Turkey, on Friday after receiving a distress signal from the migrants’ vessel which was taking on water, as Kathimerini online reports.

A few days after the tragedy off the coast of Farmakonisi, where 12 migrants went missing and are feared drowned, the Coast Guard crossed into Turkish waters to rescue the migrants, sources said.

The Turkish Coast Guard had been alerted originally but its delayed response, and the adverse weather conditions, prompted the Greek authorities to intervene, the same sources said.

On Thursday, suvivors of a tragic incident off Farmakonisi were transferred to Piraeus where they told reporters that coast guard officers had pushed and threatened them.

The incident prompted the United Nations refugee agency, Amnesty International and the European Council’s commissioner for human rights, Nils Muiznieks, to call for an inquiry.

Reacting, Merchant Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis insisted that the coast guard officers had tried to save the migrants and accused “Muiznieks and others” of wanting to create “a political issue in Greece.”

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