Migrant ship in distress off Corfu

Reports of ‘armed men’ on board. 

‘Migrant ship’ in distress off Corfu

A cargo ship believed to be carrying hundreds of migrants has sent out a distress signal near the Greek island of Corfu, reports say.

A passenger on the Blue Sky M said there were armed people on board the ship, Greek media reported.

The Greek navy has sent a helicopter and a warship to the scene, south of the small island of Othonoi.

The incident comes two days after a fire broke out on a ferry not far away, leaving at least 10 people dead.

Resources have been diverted to the cargo ship from the ongoing search near the wreck of the ferry, Norman Atlantic.

Greek coast guard special missions officers were also seen leaving Corfu for the area.

Abrupt turn

The Moldovan-flagged Blue Sky M was reportedly heading for the port of Rijeka in Croatia.

But according to tracking website MarineTraffic, the ship abruptly changed direction south of Othonoi on Tuesday morning, heading west towards Italy.

Its last position was reported south-west of Othonoi at 10:52 GMT.

Greek television reports suggested that armed men were on board the boat, previously known as the Bushra Pride.

Weather conditions in the Ionian sea have been poor for several days, hampering the rescue of those on board the Norman Atlantic.

The Greek frigate Navarino had been assisting that rescue operation before being redeployed to deal with the latest incident.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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