By Lorraine Gabina – EM TV International
At least three migrants drowned yesterday when their boat capsized off the coast of Turkey, a few kilometres from the Greek island of Lesbos.
Turkish coast guard officials have recovered the bodies, including that of a five-year-old. 13 survivors were rescued.
The latest deaths show increased policing on Turkey’s shores and colder weather conditions have not deterred some from embarking on the perilous journey in small, flimsy boats, highlighting the difficulty of accomplishing the EU’s mission of stemming the flow of migrants to its shores.
The flow of refugees and migrants braving the seas seeking sanctuary in Europe dipped towards the end of last year, coinciding with colder weather, but the total figure still reached 1 million in 2015, nearly five times more than in the previous year.
Vice President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, said “We are still not doing a good enough job at protecting our external borders. We need to step up our efforts. European Commission is in favour of European bordering coast guards. I hope member states will follow us in that reasoning.”