Thirty-seven people have been rescued from a migrant boat with 45 people on board that sank south of Turkey, the Defense Ministry said on July 23.
"Thirty-seven people were rescued from the migrant boat that sank. Search operations for eight people are continuing," it said.
Earlier on July 23, the ministry said that a boat carrying 45 people sank 161 nautical miles southwest off Turkey's Aegean Kaş district late on July 22.
Ministry officials said those on board the boat were migrants.
The ministry said that two naval frigates and a naval airplane were dispatched to the area where the boat sank, and rescue efforts were underway.
1⃣Kerpe Adası’nın yaklaşık 60 mil güneyinde, içerisinde 45 düzensiz göçmenin bulunduğu bir teknenin batmakta olduğu bilgisi üzerine TCG GELİBOLU ve TCG GÖKOVA fırkateynlerimiz ivedilikle olay yerine intikal etmiş, bölge “arama kurtarma sahası” ilan edilerek çalışma başlatılmıştır pic.twitter.com/ENHcV98XJy— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) July 23, 2021
Greece had announced on July 22 that it was searching for migrants who went missing after their sailing boat sank off the island of Crete.
A nearby vessel spotted the boat after it sent a distress signal and reported it started sinking some 60 nautical miles southeast off Crete, Greek Shipping Ministry said late on July 22.
Some 36 migrants have been rescued so far, while a helicopter, two coast guard vessels and other boats sailing in the area were part of an ongoing search and rescue operation in high winds, according to the Greek Shipping Ministry.
The migrants said that a total of 45 people were on board the sailboat, the ministry said.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees used Greece as the main gateway to Europe through Turkey in 2015 and 2016, until a deal between Ankara and the European Union reduced the flow across the Greek and Turkish land and sea borders.
Land and sea arrivals dropped by more than 60% year-on-year in the first half of 2021, according to data from Greece's Migration Ministry.