ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities say 36 migrants were rescued late Thursday after a sail boat was stranded in high winds and sank off the island of Crete, while a search continues for people feared missing.

The coast guard said an air force helicopter picked up five of the rescued passengers and took them to the nearby island of Karpathos, while the others were transferred to a passing cargo ship.

Some of the people rescued were pulled from the sea and others from the sinking sail boat, the Greek coast guard said.

Survivors reported that about 45 people had been on board the boat, the agency said, lowering the initial estimate from 60 passengers.

Greece is a major transit point for illegal immigration into the European Union. The number of people arriving without authorization has fallen sharply since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the introduction of tougher border policing practices.


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