ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Greek Coast Guard transferred 331 immigrants, including 40 children and 24 women, from a stranded fishing boat to a crude oil tanker Monday after they made a distress call overnight.
The transfer lasted several hours in moderate-to-rough seas between the islands of Crete and Kythira, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Ministry officials said the immigrants appeared to be in good health and would be taken to Crete, but did not confirm reports on state television that most of the people on broad were from Syria and Egypt.
Initial ministry estimates of the number of immigrants had been put at 400. Greece is a major transit point of illegal entry for immigrants hoping to get into the European Union.