A single survivor was picked up by an American ship on Thursday evening, while seven other refugees from Syria are thought dead after their boat capsized Thursday northeast of Cape Greco.
According to police, a 32-year-old Syrian male was rescued Thursday evening by an American commercial ship, the Egypt-bound ship Safmarine Nimba that left Mersin, Turkey earlier that afternoon.
The ship spotted a man at sea and picked him up about 15 nautical miles north east of Cape Greco, while notifying Cypriot authorities regarding the rescue operation around 4:45pm.
The ship spotted a man at sea and picked him up about 15 nautical miles north east of Cape Greco, while notifying Cypriot authorities
Larnaca Coast Guard officials dispatched a helicopter to the ship and air lifted the man, with reports saying the helicopter operation became a dangerous mission of its own due to poor weather conditions.
The man was taken to an awaiting ambulance and then driven to Larnaca General Hospital at 6:15pm, where he later told police officers that a total of eight individuals got into a boat in Lebanon and started their journey to Cyprus.
Due to a GPS malfunction, he said, the migrants lost their bearings and the boat at one point capsized. The seven other refugees are feared dead while the 32-year-old managed to stay alive with the use of a life vest until he was spotted by the ship.
A Joint Rescue Coordination Center mission was then launched to locate other survivors. A NAVTEX was issued by Republic of Cyprus authorities in the area, calling on sailors to report anything or anyone they could spot relating to the boat incident.