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Rescuers save dozens of migrants after their boat sinks off Greece

By
Kyle Barnett
A boat carrying dozens of refugees is seen in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy, on May 9. Officials said a vessel carrying dozens of migrants sank off the Greek coast late Thursday. Photo by ANSA/EPA-EFE
A boat carrying dozens of refugees is seen in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy, on May 9. Officials said a vessel carrying dozens of migrants sank off the Greek coast late Thursday. Photo by ANSA/EPA-EFE

July 23 (UPI) -- A boat carrying dozens of Syrian refugees sank in the Mediterranean Sea late Thursday off the coast of Crete, officials said.

Authorities said the boat was carrying 45 migrants when it capsized off the Greek island, about 160 miles southwest of the Turkish resort city of Kas.

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Rescuers saved 36 of the refugees and the remaining nine are unaccounted for, officials said.

A Turkish helicopter rescued most of the migrants and five more were collected by a Greek helicopter.

Rescue efforts continued to search for the missing refugees on Friday, despite severe weather conditions in the area.

Officials said the vessel was on its way to Italy when it ran out of fuel.

The Turkish Naval Forces Command sent two ships and a plane to assist in the efforts.

Earlier this month, more than 40 migrants died in the Mediterranean off Tunisia when their boat also capsized. The migrants were from Egypt, Eritrea, Chad, Bangladesh and Sudan.

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