In the early hours of Monday morning, multiple cases of illegal immigration by boat emerged in the Aegean Sea.
According to a statement, the Greek Coast Guard acted quickly and the vessels were returned to the Turkish coast.
The Greek Coast Guard announced:
“In a few hours from the early morning hours today, there was a particular tension in the wider sea area between the prefecture of Chios and the prefecture of Samos with five incidents in which sailing boats carrying a sufficient number of foreigners, tried to enter the Greek territorial waters.
These vessels initially set sail from the coast of Turkey, and their ultimate goal was to reach Italy.
At the same time, four additional inflatable boats with foreign passengers were located in the area, which also attempted to enter Greek territorial waters. The total number of passengers in the total of nine cases with such boats, is said to exceed 590 people.
In all the above incidents, patrol boats of the Hellenic Coast Guard were present in the maritime field of the incidents and were closely monitored the situation.
After their timely detection and use of light and sound signals by the patrol boats of Hellenic Coast Guard none of the boats entered Greek territorial waters.
At the same time, there was an incident of attempted ramming of a Greek patrol boat from one of the above vessels, which then returned to the Turkish shores.
It is pointed out that in all nine cases the Turkish Coast Guard was immediately informed, in order to take over the management and to seize the boats, as it should, the specific boats as they were located in Turkish territorial waters.
The occupants of one of the five boats as well as the four boats, were finally collected by Turkish coast guard, one returned to the Turkish shores accompanied by a Turkish coast guard vessel, while the other three vessels returned independently to the Turkish coast.
The Hellenic Coast Guard consistently takes all necessary measures, with determination, respect for international law and sensitivity to human life, for the effective surveillance and protection of the maritime borders of Greece and the European Union, the results of which are reflected in the rapid reduction of the number of illegal crossings of our maritime borders by third country nationals” concludes the announcement of the Hellenic Coast Guard.