7 Kids Among 18 Dead as Migrant Boats Sink

One boat heading to Greek island didn't turn back right away after hitting rocks
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2015 11:12 AM CST
A boat that sank, leaving 14 migrants dead, rests in the port in Ayvacik, Turkey, Wednesday.   (AP Photo/DHA)

(Newser) – A wooden boat carrying migrants from the Turkish town of Ayvacik to the Greek island of Lesbos hit rocks at the start of its perilous journey, but it kept going. That turned out to be a fatal mistake, as the boat sank Wednesday, killing 14, including seven children holed up in the boat's cabin, per officials and reports cited by the AP. "The boat took a hit, it began to take in water, but nevertheless continued on its route," the Turkish regional governor told the state-run Anadolu Agency. "When it took in more water they tried to return, but the boat sank before they could make it back to shore." The Turkish coast guard managed to rescue 27 others, and divers and fishermen are continuing to search the waters for other potential victims, the AP notes. The nationalities of the migrants aren't yet known.

Another four migrants died when a second boat sank off the coast of Izmir, with 22 rescued, AFP notes. At the end of October, the Save the Children charity noted more than 70 children had perished since early September trying to flee to Greece (the AP notes that number has now surpassed 80). After word of the Ayvacik sinking got out, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan implored Western nations to help with the refugee crisis, saying, "Should there be another Aylan for the world to take notice?" Aylan, of course, is the Syrian toddler who made headlines when his body washed up on a Turkish beach at the end of the summer. EU and African leaders are set to meet in Malta Wednesday to discuss the migrant crisis, and world leaders will be gathering Sunday for the G20 summit in Turkey, where the migrant issue is expected to be broached, Reuters notes. (These sinkings are just the latest in a string of them.)

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