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The Agora

Lost at sea: The Pylos shipwreck and its aftermath

Season 4, Ep. 9

On the night of June 14, a fishing boat called the Adriana, packed with hundreds of migrants who had paid traffickers to get them from Libya to Italy, sank in the deep waters of the Mediterranean, about 90 kilometers southwest of the town of Pylos in the Peloponnese.

It was one of the worst tragedies of its kind ever witnessed in Greece and Europe. What makes the Pylos shipwreck such a standout case, though, is that it seems this tragedy could have been avoided.

A series of reports by international and local media suggest that the Greek coast guard, and possibly the EU border agency, Frontex, could have done more to prevent so many people drowning.

The Agora spoke to independent journalist Lydia Emmanouilidou, who has been covering the story, to find out what survivors told her and to discuss how and why the ship sank and what questions that has raised about how the authorities responded.

We also hear from Valentina Brinis, a project manager at Open Arms, which is an NGO based in Barcelona that uses its own vessel to save migrants in distress in the Mediterranean.

Useful reading

Everyone Knew the Migrant Ship Was Doomed. No One Helped - The New York Times

Greek shipwreck: hi-tech investigation suggests coastguard responsible for sinking - The Guardian

Greek coastguard 'pressured' disaster survivors to blame Egyptian men - BBC News

Italy warned of dead children on migrant ship hours before it capsized - Politico

Greece to the EU: Come help stop migrant boats before they get here - Politico

Migrant crossings in Mediterranean leave thousands dead - Reuters


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