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Greek coast guard rescues migrants heading for Europe

Sunday, June 14, 2015 - 01:16

The Greek coast guard at Lesvos Island bring ashore a group of migrants from Asia and the Middle East whom they rescued in the Mediterranean. Diane Hodges reports.

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(SOUNDBITE)(English) COAST GUARD OFFICERS HEARD TALKING TO MIGRANTS THROUGH MEGAPHONE: "Sit down and stay calm, I save everybody, stay down stay calm." A Greek coast guard crew begins the delicate task of rescuing migrants from an overcrowded boat, floating off the island of Lesvos. One by one, they pulled the frightened passengers on board. They were part of a wave of immigrants pouring into Greece from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, desperate for a better life. This man says he came from Syria seeking treatment for his ailing son. Another says he brought his family to escape dangerous conditions at home. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BASSAM, SYRIAN REFUGEE, SAYING: "We didn't choose to be refugees,to put our lives in danger, especially with my young boy, I love him so much. I wouldn't have left our country if my family and I hadn't been at risk of being killed every day." Around 600 refugees arrive in the Greek islands every day. And the numbers are increasing every month, from about 700 in January, to more than 7-thousand in May. Until political conditions in their home countries improve, this situation is unlikely to change.

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Greek coast guard rescues migrants heading for Europe

Sunday, June 14, 2015 - 01:16