Two-month-old baby dies in migrant shipwreck off Lesbos

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Published: 12/18/2022 5:33:39 AM

A two-month-old baby was recovered dead from a migrant wreckage off Lesbos in the early hours of Friday, a coroner told AFP on Saturday.

The baby boy was taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead, coroner Theodoros Nousias said.

The wreckage occurred when the plastic dinghy carrying migrants of mostly African origin hit rocks on the shore in the Fara area, sources at the Lesbos migrant reception centre told AFP.

The migrants managed to reach shore and inform the local authorities.

The Greek coastguard service said on Saturday it had been called to the area at noon on Friday. It found 30 migrants alive and the dead baby.

Two migrants were slightly injured.

Humanitarian organisation MSF Sea tweeted on Saturday evening that it had received an alert about people in need.

Its team "provided medical and psychological support to 34 survivors", it said, giving a higher tally than the coastguards. "Tragically, a two-month-old baby was found dead."

The NGO complained that police blocked its team from reaching the migrants for two hours and coastguards did the same with another team.

"We will never know if these two hours would have allowed us to save the life of the baby," it said.

MSF Sea said it believed 16 other people from the boat had reached Lesbos and were now missing, including the baby's mother.

The Greek coastguard service says it rescued about 1,500 people in the first eight months of 2023, compared to fewer than 600 over the same period last year.

Many people fleeing Africa and the Middle East seek to enter Greece, Italy and Spain in hope of better lives in the European Union.

The International Organization for Migration has recorded nearly 2,000 migrants as dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea this year.



Source: AFP 

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