Greek coast guard picks up nearly 2,500 migrants from sea in last 3 days amid surge to Europe

Greece’s coast guard picked up nearly 2,500 migrants from the sea in dozens of search and rescue operations, part of a relentless flow of people seeking the safety of Europe after facing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s coast guard picked up nearly 2,500 migrants from the sea in dozens of search and rescue operations, part of a relentless flow of people seeking the safety of Europe after facing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The coast guard said Monday it had rescued 2,492 people in 70 operations off the eastern islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Agathonissi, Farmakonissi, Kos and Symi from Friday morning until Monday morning.

The coast guard also rescued another 13 people in the water near Chios. One person was unconscious and hospitalized.

Greece has been overwhelmed by record numbers of migrants this year, the vast majority from Syria and Afghanistan, reaching its eastern Aegean islands from the nearby Turkish coast. More than 200,000 have arrived. Nearly all head to Greece’s northern border with Macedonia, cross into Serbia and Hungary and go toward more prosperous European countries.

On Monday, Greek police fired one stun grenade to prevent a stampede and keep back a crowd who attempted to rush the border after Macedonian authorities briefly stopped the flow of those allowed to cross. The situation calmed a short while later and crossings resumed.

On the islands, authorities have struggled to cope with the sheer numbers of migrants. A government-chartered ferry on Monday brought 2,500 migrants to Piraeus, the main port near Athens, from Kos and Lesbos.

“It’s very bad in Mytilene,” the main town on Lesbos, Mohamad, a Syrian Kurd who would only give his first name, said as he disembarked. “I stay five days in (the) street. No food, no anything.”

Another Syrian, Basar, who would also only give his first name, said the situation wasn’t that dire but many people from other countries were claiming to be Syrian to take advantage of the refugee status Syrians automatically receive.

Just Posted

Missing Calgary man spent time in Red Deer

Calgary Police Service seek public’s assistance

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

VICTORIA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Ottawa is open to proposals… Continue reading

Oil price rises on Mideast tensions, stock markets cautious

BANGKOK — The price of oil rose on Friday after the U.S.… Continue reading

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in airline industry

Mandalena Lewis was enjoying a layover in Hawaii with her WestJet co-workers… Continue reading

Alta Mental Health Act found unconstitutional after man held for nine months

CALGARY — An Alberta judge has found parts of the province’s Mental… Continue reading

Golf Canada’s 2020 Olympic preparations on track with qualifying formula helping

Fifteen years ago, golfers didn’t have to worry about making the Olympics.… Continue reading

Canadian women confirmed for second trip to Rugby League World Cup

TORONTO — Canada has been confirmed as one of eight women’s teams… Continue reading

Tom Cruise surprises Comic-Con with ‘Top Gun’ sequel trailer

SAN DIEGO — Tom Cruise has made an unexpected flyby at San… Continue reading

Warm memories, hit singles: Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings reunite for charity show

TORONTO — Former Guess Who bandmates Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings reunited… Continue reading

Calgary Stampeders bounce back with 26-16 win over Toronto Argonauts

Stampeders 26 Argonauts 16 CALGARY — Juwan Brescacin hauled in a pair… Continue reading

Chris Sale snaps Fenway losing streak, beats Blue Jays 5-0

Red Sox 5 Blue Jays 0 BOSTON — That was a relief.… Continue reading

Critics and industry clash over accuracy of Alberta well cleanup cost estimates

CALGARY — An Alberta coalition that says oil and gas producers are… Continue reading

Rapelling from great heights to grant Red Deer wishes

Twenty brave individuals will rappel 13 storeys down Stantec Executive Place on… Continue reading

Most Read