Cyprus authorities rescue hundreds migrants after stranding at sea

Refugees and migrants massed onto an inflatable boat reach Mytilene, northern island of Lesbos, after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on February 17, 2016 (AFP photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Hundreds of migrants who fled from Lebanon were rescued after stranding at sea by Cyprus authorities late on Monday and early on Tuesday rescued, officials said.   

Authorities scrambled air and sea assets to a region 110 nautical miles (203 kilometers) west of the eastern Mediterranean island on Monday evening after reports a vessel carrying more than 300 people was in difficulty.

Commercial vessels were also mobilized and the passengers were safely transferred to a Marshall Islands-flagged vessel sailing in the area, Cyprus’s Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) said in a statement.

Hours later, a second vessel was located in distress south of Cyprus, carrying 177 people.

“The vessel was taking in water and they requested assistance,” JRCC Deputy Commander Andreas Zacharia said. The migrants were safely escorted to shore, he added.






(Esta Media Network/Reuters)

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