A body, presumed to be that of a child, was spotted in the waters around Ermoupolis Port on Syros Island, Greece. The body of the child, who is most likely dead, was sighted on Thursday afternoon.
The body was located by a recovery team on a tugboat but it has since been lost. Efforts are currently underway to locate the child’s remains and recover them.
According to some preliminary reports, the body sighted off the coast of Syros belongs to a migrant child.
Body of child seen in the waters around Syros
The Port Authority of Syros reportedly sounded the alarm as soon as the body was spotted by the tugboat, Panagia B. A patrol car belonging to the port authority and an ambulance of the National Center For Emergency Assistance (EKAV) was immediately dispatched.
The tugboat that originally spotted the floating body has since lost visibility. The Coast Guard is currently cooperating with the tug and privately owned vessels to relocate and recover it from the surrounding waters.
Trained divers have also been dispatched to the area to aid in the search.
Sea traffic, including ferries, has been impeded due to the search operation within the port. The ferries have been forced to dock either inside or outside the port and are unable to navigate until the search is completed.
The island of Syros, where the body was spotted in the surrounding waters, is located in the Cyclades region and is just two and a half hours away from Athens via ferry.
Early reports by the Greek media have alleged that the body in the water belongs to a migrant child, although this has not yet been confirmed.
Due to its position prominent position in the Mediterranean, with a sprawling mass of islands, a multitude of migrants and refugees have passed through Greek waters in an attempt to reach the European mainland.
Many of these journeys do not end well.
In February this year, there were at least two incidents alone. At least four migrants died and several went missing after a migrant boat capsized and sank off the island of Leros on February 5.
That same month, another boat carrying at least 41 migrants sank after crashing into rocks off the coast of Lesvos. Three of the boat’s occupants drowned and died during the incident.
Similar incidents occurred last year. For example, in October, at least seventeen migrants died and dozens went missing after two separate boats sank on the same day.
Then, in November, Greek authorities recovered twenty bodies of migrants off the island of Evia after yet another boat sank.
It remains to be confirmed whether the body of the child spotted in the waters surrounding the port on Syros is related to the frequent migrant crossings in Greek waters.