Greek navy heads to suspected migrant ship

SHAFAQNA – Greece was sending a navy frigate and a helicopter Tuesday to locate a cargo ship believed to be carrying hundreds of migrants in the northern Ionian Sea after authorities received an emergency call from someone on board the ship, authorities said.

The ship, the Moldovan-flagged Blue Sky M, was sailing in poor weather near the tiny island of Othonoi, northwest of Corfu, and was believed to be carrying 400 to 600 migrants.

Adm. Nikolaos Patrinos, head of the coast guard’s security operations, said the passenger’s phone call said the ship was eight to 10 miles off Corfu with a large number of migrants. “We are trying to locate it and seeing what we have nearby” to offer assistance, he said.

Patrinos said the passenger had also said “that we are without water, food and blankets.”

On Sunday a Greek passenger ferry caught fire in the same area, leading to a huge rescue operation by Italian and Greek coast guard and military officials. At least 10 people died in that incident, while more than 400 were rescued. Authorities are still searching for potential missing passengers from the Norman Atlantic ferry.

The Greek frigate Navarino, which is trying to locate the cargo ship, had been in the area assisting in the Norman Atlantic rescue operation.

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