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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 3 June, 2020
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Greek coastguard: Cargo ship was not actually in danger - it was just asking for supplies

A passenger called emergency services to tell them they had no food, water or blankets.

Updated 7pm

THE GREEK COASTGUARD has said a freighter believed to be carrying hundreds of migrants did not actually issue a distress call earlier today – a passenger just called to ask for supplies.

Earlier today, the Greek navy and rescue helicopters were dispatched to the area, northwest of Corfu island after it was thought the Blue Sky M was in trouble. Local media also reported that there were armed men on board.

The vessel was sailing in bad weather and it was thought there could be some issue with the engine.

However the coastguard has now said that the ship does not require any assistance. A passenger made a call to emergency services to tell them there was no food, water or blankets on board for the 400 migrants.

The coastguard also told the BBC that the vessel is now under Italian jurisdiction and that its inspections found no fault with it.

However Italy’s air force is still planning to land on the ship as a precaution to make sure the situation is under control, The Telegraph reports. Though the Greek coastguard said it does not believe the ship is carrying would-be illegal immigrants, the Italian coastguard still suspects it is.

This incident comes two days after a Greek passenger ferry with more than 400 people on board 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 heading to locate the cargo ship, had been in the area assisting in the rescue operation for the Norman Atlantic.

© – AFP 2014 with reporting from AP and Michelle Hennessy.

Read: Confusion over how many passengers survived Norman Atlantic ferry fire

Read: ‘I watched my husband die…I tried to save him but I couldn’t’

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