Greece rescues 30 migrants after boat sinks off Kythira island

ATHENS, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Greek authorities rescued 30 migrants whose boat sank after hitting a rocky area in stormy waters near the island of Kythira on Wednesday, the coastguard said.

Authorities had mounted a search and rescue operation to save about 100 migrants who had been on board the vessel.

"Thirty people have been rescued so far. The operation is ongoing amid adverse weather conditions," a coastguard official said. Strong winds were blowing in the area.

The boat carrying the migrants had smashed into a rocky area and sank. One coastguard vessel, joined by a Greek navy helicopter, had rushed to the area.

The coastguard did not provide additional information on possible casualties or the nationality of the migrants.

Kythira is an island lying opposite the southeastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula.

Greece was the frontline of Europe's migration crisis in 2015 and 2016, when a million refugees fleeing war and poverty from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan arrived, mainly via Turkey.

The number of migrant arrivals has fallen sharply since, but attempts to enter the country by sea through its islands continue.

Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Bill Berkrot

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