18 illegal migrants were rescued by the coast guard yesterday after their boat caught fire off the coast of the Aegean island of Samos, authorities said. Suffering from symptoms of hypothermia, the immigrants, consisting of 17 men and 1 woman were taken to a hospital on Samos. They were in no immediate danger.
In an attempt to infiltrate into Greece from Turkey, their 8 meter boat caught fire and sank six miles north of Samos, according to the Merchant Marine Ministry. Authorities questioned the immigrants in order to determine whether they were responsible for organizing the people-smuggling operation. They claimed they were from Algeria and Lebanon.
Every year thousands of immigrants attempt to infiltrate into the EU across the Greece-Turkey border.