Superyacht saves more than 100 migrants from drowning


A superyacht was part of a rescue flotilla that saved 104 people from drowning after a fishing boat (pictured) carrying migrants capsized off the coast of Greece. The 92m Mayan Queen IV helped the Hellenic (Greek) Coast Guard deliver people to safety on their journey from Libya to Italy.

The Coast Guard has recovered 79 bodies so far, with fears of the death toll reaching into the hundreds. The vessel sank in international waters, 47 nautical miles (87km) southwest of Pylos, off the Peloponnese coast and one of the deepest parts of the Mediterranean.

Mayan Queen IV, thought to belong to the late Mexican billionaire silver magnate, Alberto Bailleres’ family, came to the ship’s aid once it capsized. Whilst more than 100 people have been saved so far, survivors of the tragedy have suggested more than 750 people may have been packed onboard, with some reports of around 100 children in the hold.

In a statement yesterday, the Coast Guard claimed a coastal patrol vessel attempted to make contact with the boat several times before the disaster.

The fishing vessel was repeatedly asked if it wanted additional assistance or if it was in danger or if it wanted something else from Greece. They replied We want nothing more than to continue to Italy’,” said a statement from the Greek Ministry of Shipping.

The search for survivors has continued today. “It’s one of the biggest [search] operations ever in the Mediterranean,” Nikos Alexiou, spokesperson for the Hellenic Coast Guard told Greek broadcaster, ERT TV.

“We won’t stop looking,” he said.