Greek Coast Guard Arrests 2 from Sailboat in Distress with 70 Aboard

ATHENS — Greece’s coast guard said Tuesday two people have been arrested on suspicion of migrant smuggling and endangering lives for steering a sailboat with a further 68 people on board that ran into trouble off the western coast of Greece last week.

The coast guard said the two — an Iraqi and a Syrian — appeared before a prosecutor in southern Greece and were remanded in custody pending trial.

The sailboat had set out from Turkey and was heading to Italy when it ran into trouble off western Greece last Thursday, the coast guard said. Those on board were from Iran, Syria and Iraq, and were 52 men, nine women and nine children.

A search and rescue operation was launched and the sailboat was escorted safely to the southwestern Greek port of Pylos on Friday afternoon. Contrary to usual practice where the coast guard announces search and rescue operations while they are ongoing, it did not confirm this incident until Tuesday, despite Greek media reporting on the case at the time.

Greece lies along one of the most popular migration routes into Europe for people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, with most making their way from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands, or attempting to cross a river separating the two countries along their land border.

But Greece has taken an increasingly hard line, bolstering land and sea patrols and turning back would-be asylum-seekers. Rights organizations and migrants have repeatedly accused Greek authorities of carrying out illegal summary deportations, known as pushbacks, at sea and on land. The government denies these take place, despite strong indications to the contrary.

Amid the crackdown, some smuggling rings have attempted to bypass Greece, using bigger boats to sail around the country directly to Italy.


ATHENS - The United States has a strong and historic relationship with Greece because it trusts it to act in a reliable way, US Ambassador George Tsunis said on Tuesday, at the first press briefing held after meeting with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias earlier in the day.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.


Pentagon Says More High-Tech Weapons Going to Ukraine

WASHINGTON — Nearly 50 defense leaders from around the world met Monday and agreed to send more advanced weapons to Ukraine, including a Harpoon launcher and missiles to protect its coast, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.