Shipwreck Greece: 500 dead due to pushback attempt?

June 16, 2023

Boat carrying Refugees that capsized close to Pylos

Source: Agean Boat Report

New findings about the shipwreck off Pylos and the extent of the tragedy raise a terrible suspicion: Did the Greek Coast Guard try to pull the boat out of Greek waters before it capsized?

Journalists are not allowed to enter the hall where the survivors of Wednesday’s shipwreck are located. But deputies were able to talk to them.

According to former MEP Kriton Arsenis, they told that the Greek Coast Guard towed the overcrowded fishing boat before it capsized.

There is no information on this in the Coast Guard reports. This could be because they were not rescuing people but pushing them back from Greek waters. This is because towing overcrowded boats is dangerous and is not used in rescue operations, but in pushbacks.

According to information from Iasonas Apostolopoulos, the Coast Guard pulled the boat too fast, which destabilized it and caused it to capsize.

What is certain is that both Frontex and the Coast Guard have sighted and observed the boat (source: Solomon). What exactly caused the capsize, however, remains to be seen.

At least 79 people are now confirmed dead, and a total of 567 people are missing and likely drowned, including up to 100 children. Because of the bad weather, women and children were housed below deck, where there were few options for survival. According to experts, there is little hope of recovering any more survivors.

Only 104 people were rescued and brought to Kalamata in Greece. About 30 people needed immediate medical attention and were hospitalized there. The people are reported to be refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine and Egypt.

Survivors of the shipwreck off Pylos in Kalamata

Survivors of the shipwreck off Pylos in Kalamata (Source: Aegean Boat Report)

According to reports, the survivors are housed in a makeshift hall where they are monitored by armed military personnel, among others. Nine survivors have since been arrested by the Greek coast guard as suspected smugglers.

The Greek government announced that it would investigate asylum claims by survivors, but would send back people who were not eligible for protection.

Europe once again displays a stone-hard face and turns the Mediterranean Sea once more into a mass grave.

This year, 1,264 people (source: IOM) have already drowned while fleeing in the Mediterranean region alone. the shipwreck off Pylos is one of the deadliest events of the crossing.

Grief and anger cannot express what happened here. This case must be fully investigated, and all those involved must be held accountable.

The German government also has a responsibility to finally enforce applicable law instead of further sealing off Europe. Refugees need protection. It is unbearable.

Source: Aegean Boat Report

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