A total of 69 people seeking asylum were rescued in the Eastern Aegean sea last Sunday in two separate operations run by the Hellenic Coast Guard and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex).
In the first incident, a small rubber vessels carrying 26 passengers was spotted sinking by a Frontex patrol boat off the coast of Lesvos, in an area close to the island’s airport.
Frontex officers managed to rescue the people on board, who were then transported to the capital city port in Mytilini and the vessel’s 35-year-old captain was arrested and charged for migrant smuggling.
Later on, another cohort of 43 refugees and migrants was rescued during a Hellenic Coast Guard operation near Farmakonisi, before being safely transferred to the island’s port.
The coast guard crew located the inflatable motorboat in the marine area southeast of the island.
According to the most recently updated UNHCR data, more than 31,800 refugees and migrants have arrived by sea to Greece in 2018.