Seven Asylum Seekers – Three Children – Drown Off Lesbos

Αssociated press

FILE - A Greek coast guard vessel uses a light to spot a fish boat during a patrol on the Aegean Sea, near Lesbos, Friday, March 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

While Coast Guard rescuers were able to save 57 people when a boat packed with refugee and migrants sank off the Greek island of Lesbos early on June 11, seven reportedly drowned, including three little girls.

According to reports, the Coast Guard got an alert about 7 in the morning that a boat was in distress off the island, the favored choice for those being smuggled in by traffickers from Turkey in hopes of gaining asylum in Greece after fleeing their homelands in the Middle East and other countries.

Three of the victims were underage girls, said Kathimerini, adding to the toll over the past few years of refugees and migrants trying to get to overwhelmed Greek islands with the European Union closing its borders to them and reneging on promises to take some of the overload.

Five rescue vessels and one helicopter were still searching the area for more possible victims, as the survivors were being questioned at Mytilini port to determine how many were on board.