Greek authorities have rescued almost 100 illegal migrants from a vessel at sea while also transporting over 100 more migrants to Germany, according to reports.
Rescue efforts were launched in the Mediterranean Sea by the Hellenic Coast Guard after authorities received distress calls from a boat taking water on Tuesday night, the Greek City Times reports.
“Ninety-six people have been rescued so far and 77 have been transferred to Karpathos and Rhodes islands, while 19 were collected by Turkish Coast Guard vessels,” spokesman Nikos Lagadianos said on Wednesday.
The massive search-and-rescue operation took place at night and reportedly entailed two military helicopters, five local vessels, a navy ship, and five coast guard boats in one of the "largest and most successful" missions of its kind in the Aegean Sea.
At least four foreign nationals have been arrested under suspicion of human smuggling following the incident.
Meanwhile, 121 migrants have been moved from camps in Greece to Germany, including 28 children requiring special medical attention and their relatives.
“The transfer was part of a wider European effort to get hundreds of vulnerable children out of camps on the Greek islands. Two previous transfers of ailing children to Germany took place in July,” the Associated Press reports.
“Germany has agreed to take in a total of 243 children ‘who need medical treatment’ from Greece, as well their closest relatives, 928 people in all. So far, 68 of the children have arrived.”
The migrants were transported via plane following a delayed Aug. 13 transfer date due to positive coronavirus tests among some of the candidates.
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