‘At least 20 dead’ as distress call received from sinking refugee boat in Med

A distress call from a migrant boat sinking in the Mediterranean Sea with 300 people on board has been made to authorities in Rome. The International Organisation for Migration said the caller reported 20 people had been killed as the boat sank in international waters. It comes after at least three people were killed after a boat carrying migrants ran aground off the coast of the Greek island of Rhodes.

The caller said that there are over 300 people on his boat and it is already sinking. He has reported fatalities, 20 at least.

Joel Millman, a spokesman for the IOM Rome office

Video footage showed the wooden double-masted boat, with people packing the deck, rocking wildly in the Aegean Sea just metres away from the island. Passengers can be seen jumping into the sea and swimming towards the shore, as coast guard officers and onlookers climb down rocks to rescue the migrants, including a child wearing a lifejacket. The Greek coast guard said it had received an emergency call from the boat, which is a wooden gulet. The three people killed include a child.