Greek authorities deny Turkish attempt to ram coast guard vessel during rescue operation

There was no attempt by a Turkish patrol boat to ram a Greek coast guard vessel during an operation on Wednesday to rescue migrants from the sea near the islet of Paspargos, in waters off the coast of Chios, senior coast guard officers told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA).

Outlining the sequence of events, they said that Coast Guard ship 611 had come across a dinghy carrying about 40 migrants and refugees near the sea border with Turkey and within Turkish territorial waters, while a Turkish patrol boat was sailing alongside. The dinghy had then picked up speed and crossed over onto the Greek side of the border, while some of the people on board fell into the water.

The Greek coast guard vessel immediately mounted a rescue operation to collect the migrants in the water and the Turkish vessel also crossed over into Greek territorial waters for a short space of time. As soon as the Greek coast guard had collected the migrants in the water, the Turkish coast guard vessel departed for the Turkish coast and the incident came to an end, they said.