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Tragic Greece Migrant Boat Disaster Unfolds Amidst Coast Guard Surveillance


[The morning of June 13 marked the beginning of a series of distress calls, originating from an overcrowded boat that was running out of water and faced a deteriorating situation. Despite the urgency of the situation, the Greek coast guard did not initiate a high-priority rescue operation. Officials claimed that the vessel was maintaining a steady course and speed and that the people on board declined any assistance. However, an investigation by The Washington Post challenges these claims and suggests that the tragic shipwreck could have been prevented.

The conflicting accounts surrounding the final moments of the boat, known as the Adriana, are particularly troubling. The coast guard asserts that the capsizing was a result of panic-induced weight distribution, while survivors claim that it occurred while being towed by the coast guard. The Post’s investigation raises doubts about the other claims made by Greek officials and highlights their failure to launch a comprehensive rescue effort when the precarious situation of the boat was detected.

Experts in maritime rescue and legal matters argue that the Greek officials neglected their responsibility to conduct a thorough rescue operation and instead exploited the notion that aid was not desired. One retired senior officer in the U.S. Coast Guard labeled this negligence as “egregious.” Instead of dispatching multiple vessels, calling for assistance from neighboring regions, and providing life preservers, the coast guard sent only a helicopter to the scene.

The official statement given by the coast guard emphasizes that the Adriana rejected help, a point that is reiterated five times. While some onboard did resist assistance, it is essential to consider their motivations and fears, as well as the numerous calls for help received by activists and a hotline. Legal experts argue that regardless of the wishes of those on board, authorities are obligated to intervene in such situations.

Greek authorities have a history of forcefully redirecting migrant boats away from their search-and-rescue area, as documented by various sources. Survivors of the Adriana recall the presence of Greek coast guard members wearing balaclavas upon their arrival, suggesting an atmosphere of fear and distrust. These practices, occurring with the sanction of the European Union, have created an environment where people are afraid to encounter Greek forces.

The survivors of the Adriana remember their interactions with larger ships that arrived to offer assistance. However, due to their concerns about capsizing, they resisted efforts to approach their boat too closely. While the Faithful Warrior, one of the ships that arrived to help, denies any wrongdoing, survivors describe the ship creating waves that their fragile boat could not withstand.

The second claim made by the coast guard is that the Adriana was proceeding with a steady course and speed, and therefore, earlier rescue efforts were unnecessary. However, an analysis conducted by The Post reveals that the boat’s speed fluctuated dramatically, aligning with passenger accounts of engine problems. The boat also deviated from its intended route, circling back at times. Physicists and oceanographers consulted by The Post analyzed various factors, such as speed, direction, and weather conditions, confirming the irregularities in the Adriana’s movements.

In conclusion, the investigation by The Washington Post challenges the official claims made by Greek officials regarding the Adriana shipwreck. The evidence suggests that a preventable tragedy occurred, largely due to the failure of the coast guard to act promptly and effectively in response to the distress calls. The conflicting accounts and discrepancies highlight the need for a comprehensive and unbiased investigation to establish the truth and hold those responsible accountable.


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