Via IOM* – IOM Greece reported Monday the deaths and disappearances of 23 migrants or refugees over the weekend off the island of Lesvos in waters between Greece and Turkey. Hellenic authorities reported finding the remains of nine people while Turkish officials reported finding the remains of seven others. There were two survivors and indications of at least seven more people missing. One of the survivors was an expectant mother who was taken to a local hospital.
These deaths nearly tripled the number – from 14 to 37 – of men, women and children known to have died this year on the Eastern Mediterranean route. That figure is barely 10 percent of the total recorded at this time last year, when 376 migrants or refugees were known to have died trying to enter Greece by sea from Turkey. Arrival numbers for the Greek islands also was much higher last year: more than 154,000 through 23 April, compared to just 4,843 this year.
* IOM is a organization operating globally, which carries out programs of migration management on behalf of governments. We do not agree with their mission, but use this source to provide latest numbers of crossings and casualties.