Europe

Greece: rescue under way for migrant boat south of Crete

  • The lifeless body of a migrant lays on the beach near the western city of Zwara, Libya, Thursday June 2, 2016, as rescue workers begin to retrieve some of the more than 100 bodies pulled from the sea, after a smuggling boat carrying mainly African migrants sank into the Mediterranean.  Libya's navy spokesman Col. Ayoub Gassim says, Friday June 3, that the bodies of more than 100 migrants have been retrieved, but the death toll is likely to be higher. (APTV via AP) TV OUT

    The lifeless body of a migrant lays on the beach near the western city of Zwara, Libya, Thursday June 2, 2016, as rescue workers begin to retrieve some of the more than 100 bodies pulled from the sea, after a smuggling boat carrying mainly African migrants sank into the Mediterranean. Libya's navy spokesman Col. Ayoub Gassim says, Friday June 3, that the bodies of more than 100 migrants have been retrieved, but the death toll is likely to be higher. (APTV via AP) TV OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • Emergency services remove the body of a victim as more than 100 bodies are pulled from the sea near the western city of Zwara, Libya, Friday June 3, 2016, after a smuggling boat carrying mainly African migrants sank into the Mediterranean.  Libya's navy spokesman Col. Ayoub Gassim says that the bodies of more than 100 migrants have been retrieved, but the death toll is likely to be higher. (APTV via AP) TV OUT

    Emergency services remove the body of a victim as more than 100 bodies are pulled from the sea near the western city of Zwara, Libya, Friday June 3, 2016, after a smuggling boat carrying mainly African migrants sank into the Mediterranean. Libya's navy spokesman Col. Ayoub Gassim says that the bodies of more than 100 migrants have been retrieved, but the death toll is likely to be higher. (APTV via AP) TV OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • The lifeless bodies of migrants are scattered along the beach near the western city of Zwara, Libya, Thursday June 2, 2016, as rescue workers begin to retrieve some of the more than 100 bodies pulled from the sea, after a smuggling boat carrying mainly African migrants sank into the Mediterranean.  Libya's navy spokesman Col. Ayoub Gassim says, Friday June 3, that the bodies of more than 100 migrants have been retrieved, but the death toll is likely to be higher. (APTV via AP) TV OUT

    The lifeless bodies of migrants are scattered along the beach near the western city of Zwara, Libya, Thursday June 2, 2016, as rescue workers begin to retrieve some of the more than 100 bodies pulled from the sea, after a smuggling boat carrying mainly African migrants sank into the Mediterranean. Libya's navy spokesman Col. Ayoub Gassim says, Friday June 3, that the bodies of more than 100 migrants have been retrieved, but the death toll is likely to be higher. (APTV via AP) TV OUT  (The Associated Press)

Greek authorities say a rescue operation is underway for a "significant number" of migrants on board a boat in the Mediterranean south of Crete, and about 250 people have been rescued so far.

The coast guard said the boat, carrying an undetermined number of people, was located Friday about 75 nautical miles south of Crete in international waters. Four nearby ships were participating in the rescue operation, while two Greek patrol boats and two helicopters were on their way.

Further details were not immediately available. The short crossing from the Turkish coast to Greek islands was the preferred route for migrants heading to Europe until Balkan countries closed their borders. The number of people attempting to head to Europe from the north African coast has since increased.