NICOSIA — Cyprus’ Defense Minister says crews have rescued 26 people believed to be asylum seekers after receiving a distress call from a boat that was spotted about seven miles (11 kilometers) off the southeastern tip of the east Mediterranean island.
Christoforos Fokaides said authorities believe all those who were aboard the boat late Nov. 3 have been picked up. A sweep of the area by the German destroyer Hyane didn’t locate anyone in the water.
Fokaides said rough weather conditions hampered the rescue operation mounted by helicopter and patrol boat crews.
He said one small child was taken to a hospital in serious condition, suffering from hypothermia and dehydration.
All 26 of those rescued, half of whom are children, are receiving medical care. Their boat is believed to have set sail from Tripoli, Lebanon, on Oct. 30.