ATHENS, Greece – Greek rescuers are seeking 12 people reported missing in the eastern Aegean Sea after a fishing boat packed with immigrants that was being towed to the shore by a coastguard vessel capsized in the dark.
A Merchant Marine Ministry statement says another 16 people were rescued early Monday near Farmakonissi islet. Their nationalities were unknown.
Greece is a major entry point for people from impoverished or war-torn Asian and African countries seeking a better life in Europe. Most risk entering illegally by sea, and fatal accidents are frequent.
The ministry said Monday the vessel was found drifting by a patrol boat that tried to tow it to Farmakonissi. About 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) offshore, two people dived into the sea, prompting a rush that capsized the boat.