Rescue Operation Continues to Locate Survivors from Migrant Boat Shipwreck off Greek Island of Paxi

Αssociated press

File- Greek authorities at the scene, on the port of Preveza, northwestern Greece, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. Greece's coast guard says 12 migrants have been found dead in the Ionian Sea and 21 others have been rescued after their boat took in water and sank. Searchers are looking for more survivors. (Andriana Soldatou/ via AP)

KERKYRA. A rescue operation continued on Monday to locate refugees and migrants that were on a vessel that sank on Saturday morning, 13 nautical miles southwest of the island of Paxi in the Ionian Sea.

According to Athens-Macedonian News Agency sources, the 21 people rescued from the shipwreck - 10 from Afghanistan, two from Syria, four from Pakistan, two from Iran, two from Iraq and one from Somalia - were sent to Preveza are in good health.

The bodies of another 12 persons that died when the ship went down have not yet been identified, while there are no children among the recovered dead and those rescued.

According to the testimonies of survivors, there were approximately 50 people on the boat.

Two coast guard vessels assisted by a helicopter were participating in the search and rescue operation on Monday but the sunken vessel, which sank with many people still inside, had not been located.

A preliminary investigation was underway but authorities were only able to verify that the vessel was bound for Italy, while neither its point of departure nor the manner in which the migrants and refugees were taken there had been officially ascertained.