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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Two survivors of a lethal shipwreck describe their ordeal to Greek authorities

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ATHENS, Greece — A Greek information web site has revealed excerpts from the depositions of two survivors of Wednesday’s lethal shipwreck off southwestern Greece, during which greater than 500 persons are feared drowned after an overcrowded boat carrying as many as 750 migrants went down in worldwide waters.

Passengers on the ill-fated trawler needed to subsist on meager provides of food and water which ran out a number of hours earlier than the catastrophe, two survivors have reportedly testified.

Information web site kathimerini.gr, which is run by Greek newspaper Kathimerini, has revealed excerpts from the depositions of two survivors, 23-year-old Hassan, from Syria, and 24-year-old Rana, from Pakistan. The 2 males are referred to solely by their first names.

Hassan, who was touring alone, recounted that, throughout the four-day voyage from Libya, they got “minimal meals and soiled water” which had run out by Tuesday morning, when the hungry and thirsty passengers began complaining.

Based on Hassan, among the many 700 passengers he estimated have been on the boat, about 15, together with the captain, have been working for the folks traffickers who organized the crossing. They have been the one ones who may transfer across the boat. Hassan, who had initially been positioned beneath deck, needed to pay 10 euros to one of many 15 to maneuver him as much as the deck as a result of he was discovering laborious to breathe.

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Hassan instructed the Greek authorities he and different passengers believed the captain had misplaced his manner and couldn’t get to Italy, and that it was solely after their complaints that the captain referred to as for assistance on his satellite tv for pc cellphone, late on Tuesday night time.

Hassan stated that, when the Greek coast vessel arrived throughout the night time, the trawler out of the blue capsized and he discovered himself within the water. The Greek coast guard rescued him and others, he stated, lifting them into an inflatable boat.

Two or three different ships got here throughout the night time — it was early Wednesday by then — and helped. The survivors, none of whom have been sporting lifejackets, have been taken to the port of Kalamata, the place they got water, Hassan stated. Proven footage of the survivors, he recognized seven as working for the traffickers. Greek authorities have to date arrested 9 people suspected on collaborating in trafficking.

In all, 104 survivors have been rescued and 78 our bodies retrieved, all on Wednesday. If the estimates of 700-750 migrants on board are correct, greater than 500 persons are lacking, and the possibilities that anybody else might be discovered alive are quickly diminishing.

Rana, the Pakistani citizen, testified that he misplaced his spouse and kids within the shipwreck: the excerpts on kathimerini.gr don’t point out the variety of kids.

Rana testified that the trawler departed Libya early Friday, June 9. After three days at sea, the engine stopped and one of many crew repaired it repeatedly, however the engine malfunctioned a number of occasions.

Rana claimed that, on Tuesday, hours earlier than the accident, a number of the Egyptian passengers requested a passing industrial ship for water. Its crew threw them some bottles, however, Rana stated, the Egyptians took all of it and a battle broke out with different passengers, who lastly acquired to share the water. Then, he stated, the engine began working once more and the trawler resumed its journey however was compelled to cease once more after about half an hour. Rana was on his knees, afraid and praying. The crew shut the engine down, Rana claimed, in order that ships passing by couldn’t hear it.

Immediately, he stated, the boat began itemizing on one aspect and taking over water. Within the ensuing panic, many rushed to the other aspect and it was then that the boat capsized. Rana jumped into the ocean and, regardless of not realizing find out how to swim, stayed afloat for a couple of minutes till a “giant ship” retrieved him. His spouse and kids, confined to a cabin, weren’t so fortunate.

Each males described intimately how they ended up on the boat. Hassan was residing in a suburb of the Syrian capital Damascus, the place he had returned after working for 3 years in Lebanon.

Hoping to go to Germany, he flew first to Libya, the place he labored in low-paid jobs for 40 days, earlier than being taken by the traffickers to a collection of “refuges,” the final of which housed 300 folks.

On Friday, June 9, a truck took them to a port, the place smaller boats ferried them to the trawler, which Hassan described as {old} and rusty. His father had given $4,500 to a intermediary who would then pay the traffickers upon Hassan’s arrival in Italy.

Rana stated he had paid $8,000 to a fellow Pakistani in Libya. His brother, who lives in Italy and had organized the fee, would hand over the remainder of the cash for his crossing, Rana didn’t know the way a lot, upon his arrival in Italy.

Rana was given again $2,000 of the $8,000 he paid to present to an individual in Libya, the brother of the person he had paid. Rana stated that his compatriot who lived in Libya was the proprietor of the trawler.

Rana and his household reached Libya by way of Dubai and Egypt earlier than being taken by automotive to a collection of refuges in a journey lasting nearly a month, ending up at Tobruk, Libya.



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