Hundreds of refugees found on luxury yacht in Lesbos
by Philip Reynolds
More than 300 refugees have been discovered hidden on a yacht that recently ran aground off the island of Lesbos by the Greek coastguard.
It is thought that the refugees were being transported on the boat which local press have reported to be a 30 metre motor yacht. There have been no details released about the boat owner and no reported arrests.
The coastguard confirmed that none of the 345 people found on board the boat on Tsonia beach required hospital treatment.
It did not release the nationalities of those on board, but many of the people arriving on the shores of the Greek Aegean islands this year have being fleeing from the war-torn countries of Syria and Afghanistan, as well as some economic migrants from Asia and Africa. Greek media have reported that the refugees and migrants found in the latest discovery each paid a fee of €3,000 for their transportation to Lesbos.
Lesbos, in particular, has been on the frontline of the burgeoning refugee crisis this year due to its geographical location near to the coast of Turkey. Around 600,000 refugees and migrants are said to have landed in Greece in 2015.
Also, as has been well-documented, not everybody has completed the journey and there are thought to have been about 500 deaths in the Aegean Sea. Last Saturday, the Greek authorities said that for the first time in 11 days no refugee or migrant had been recorded as drowned.
Last month (October 18) a yacht sailing near the Greek Island of Kastellorizo saved 11 refugees from drowning in the Mediterranean.
One billionaire couple have taken matters into their own hands and are rescuing refugees at sea with their own privately funded explorer vessel.