Romania Rescues 70 Syrian, Iraqi Migrants from Black Sea

Al-Akhbar is currently going through a transitional phase whereby the English website is available for Archival purposes only. All new content will be published in Arabic on the main website (www.al-akhbar.com).

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Published Saturday, February 28, 2015

Romania's coast guard rescued 70 migrants — mostly Syrians and Iraqis — packed on to a small fishing boat that was in danger of sinking as they attempted to make the crossing to Europe in stormy seas on Saturday.

The Turkish vessel had sailed from Istanbul and was found in trouble about 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the Romanian coast. The boat, which was crammed with migrants including 20 women and seven children, was helped to safely dock at the port of Constanta, a coast guard spokesman told Reuters.

About 500 migrants have arrived by sea to Romania since the middle of 2013, according to coast guard figures, as they flee war, poverty and human rights abuses in the Middle East and Africa.

That figure is small, however, compared with some other European countries; the UN refugee agency says 160,000 people made the sea crossing to Italy between January and November 2014 and a further 40,000 landed in Greece.

Thousands have died attempting the journey. On February 11 alone, more than 300 migrants were feared drowned after their overcrowded dinghies sank in the Mediterranean.

In the last year alone, several thousand people died trying to cross from North Africa to Europe across the Mediterranean, on what the United Nations has described as the most dangerous route in the world.

Romanian coast guard spokesman Marius Niculescu said the migrants rescued on Saturday were the first to have attempted to reach Romania by sea this year. He said they were undergoing medical checks and that they could request asylum.

(Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

Comments

"Romania Rescues 70 Syrian, Iraqi Migrants from Mediterranean"

of course, as Romania has no Mediterranean coastline, the Romanian Coast Guard rescued these migrants from the BLACK SEA

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for notifying us of the error in our headline. It has been corrected.

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