Migrant boat arrives off Cyprus coast

A small boat crammed with 85 refugees was spotted off the northwestern coast of Cyprus on Friday afternoon, prompting a full-fledged search and rescue operation.

According to local police, a police patrol boat approached the boat about three nautical miles of the community of Pomos and helped it into a local fishing port.

Police said that there were 64 men, 9 women and 12 children on the boat.

Most of them were in good shape, despite being at sea for three days, but some of them felt dizzy and were taken to a local hospital.
The community authorities offered the refugees food and water and provided clothing for some of them.

It is believed that the boat had been brought to the limits of the Cypriot territorial waters by people traffickers who then returned in a speedboat to Turkey from where they had sailed.

The refugees, who said they were Syrian, were processed at Pomos and were later taken to a refugee center near Nicosia.

Three more boats with about 300 Syrian refugees arrive in Cyprus this year, one in February and two in March.

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