Vatican News
A refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos A refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos 

Migrants rescued off Greek island of Lesbos

The Greek coast guard on Tuesday rescues 24 people and recovers the body of one man from waters near the southern part of the Greek island of Lesbos.

By Vatican News staff reporter

The desperate attempt to flee conflict and poverty in search of a better life ended in tragedy on Tuesday off the Greek island of Lesbos.

Around 25 migrants who had arrived by boat from nearby Turkey were located by a Greek coast guard vessel on an inaccessible part of the island’s coast.

At least one man died and a helicopter and several coast guard vessels were searching the area following reports from the migrants that there could be a further three people missing.

It was not immediately clear how the group arrived or what had happened to their boat.

Perilous journey

As many people attempt to flee wars and poverty in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, the dangerous journey from the Turkish coast to the Greek islands has been regarded as one of the most popular entry points into the European Union.

Many migrants make the perilous voyage in unseaworthy boats or dinghies, often times overcrowded.

A deal brokered between the EU and Turkey in 2016 requires that new arrivals be held on the islands pending deportation back to Turkey unless they successfully apply for asylum in Greece.

The agreement has led to greatly overcrowded camps on the Greek islands.

After visiting a camp on the Greek island of Lesbos in 2016, Pope Francis brought 12 Syrian migrants back to Rome with him .

Following the recitation of the Angelus on September 13 last, the Pope also expressed his solidarity and closeness to the victims of a massive fire that devastated the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos.

19 January 2021, 13:03