Turkey

In 2020 Turkish Coast Guard saved 12,500+ in its waters

Turkish Coast Guard saved over 12,500 people including nearly 11,500 irregular migrants off Aegean, Mediterranean coasts

Sertac Bulur   | 26.02.2021
In 2020 Turkish Coast Guard saved 12,500+ in its waters

ANKARA

The Turkish Coast Guard in 2020 rescued over 12,500 people including irregular migrants during 935 search and rescue activities carried out in Turkey’s territorial waters.

A total of 12,655 people, including 11,494 irregular migrants were rescued by the coast guard in 935 search and rescue activities, according to information compiled by Anadolu Agency.

Greece’s illegal pushbacks of irregular migrants resulted in a significant rise in search and rescue missions at sea in 2020, contrary to the expected fall due to COVID-19 outbreak.

While in 2019 a total of 4,592 people were saved in 662 incidents, 2020 saw a 41% spike in the number of incidents and a 176% leap in the number of rescued people.

The coast guard also supports the transportation of injured people and patients to healthcare institutions and medical evacuation, especially in harsh sea and weather conditions.

At least 186 people were evacuated and transported to medical facilities in 181 incidents in 2020, and patients or injured people in need of urgent assistance were brought from islands and cruise ships to the nearest healthcare facility, providing timely medical assistance.

The Coast Guard Command is the only general law enforcement agency responsible for the safety and security of Turkish waters, and last year also took part in natural disaster relief.

Coast guard teams rescued 68 boats, 43 of them stranded and 25 of them sinking, amid flooding after an earthquake in Izmir last Oct. 30.

Coast guard teams also supported the evacuation of 31 people by helicopter in a flood disaster in the northern Giresun province last August.

*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin

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