New year so far finds 271 refugees rescued off Greece; boy killed


Greece’s coast guard says 217 migrants have been rescued by authorities since the start of the new year in four separate incidents.

Migrants, the majority of them refugees from Syria’s civil war, keep trying to enter the European Union despite the cold and rough seas.

A coast guard spokeswoman said conditions in the eastern Aegean Sea were “very unfavorable” with high winds prevailing.

The first casualty of the year, a boy, died on Saturday when an inflatable dinghy carrying 40 people was thrown onto rocks off the Greek island of Agathonisi. The others were rescued, including a woman who had been thrown into the sea during the crash.

On Sunday, 56 people had been rescued so far, according to the coast guard.