Turkish Boat In Distress Off Greek Islands

Thursday, July 12, 2001
A Turkish boat with 68 people on board has issued a distress signal south of the Greek island of Rhodes, the Greek Merchant Marine Ministry said on Thursday.

"It appears to have engine failure but not to be sinking," a ministry spokesman said. "A Greek coastguard boat is already by its side." He said the ministry had been notified by Ankara rescue authorities, who said the vessel, the Angel, with three crew members and scores of passengers was in distress in international waters within Greek rescue jurisdiction 23 miles south of Rhodes.

The nationalities of the passengers were not yet known but the ministry was examining the possibility they may be refugees, the spokesman said.

"Although there doesn't seem to be any immediate danger, our first priority is to get them to safety," he added.

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