Anxiety is at its peak for the missing persons from the shipwreck that occurred in the early hours of Wednesday (14/6) off Pylos. So far the toll amounts to 78 dead, while 104 people have been rescued.
At the same time, relatives continued to come to the port of Kalamata to look for their relatives. Among them Fardi, who stood on the railings that had been set up and tried to hug his brother Mohammed who was rescued from the wreckage.
The moment he met his brother
With tears in their eyes the two brothers held each other's faces and embraced. Fardi, a Syrian refugee, came from the Netherlands to search for and eventually find his 18-year-old brother Mohamed who was aboard the sunk fishing vessel. Mohammed was on the ill-fated fishing boat that sank, trying to reach Italy. He never got there, but he was saved.
The scene of the two brothers' warm embrace in front of the camera is particularly touching
Earlier, the rescued migrants from the shipwreck off Pylos left the port of Kalamata. A total of 68 people are currently being transported to the Malakasa facility, including some juveniles who will be initially transported to Malakasa to complete identification procedures and then transferred to juvenile facilities.
Shortly after 8:30 the migrants, aged between 16 and 40, began to board the buses. Earlier they had gone outside the area that had been set up and were living, bagging whatever personal belongings they managed to salvage after the wreck and waiting to give their details.
Looking for their relatives
At the same time, relatives of the migrants - who each paid thousands of dollars to cross into Europe - have gathered in Kalamata in search of their own people
Kassem Abu Zeed told The Associated Press that he took the first flight from Germany to Greece after realizing his wife and brother-in-law were on that ship.
"The last time we spoke was 8 days ago and my wife told me she was getting ready to board the boat," said Abu Zeed. “He had paid $5,000 to the smugglers. And then we all know what happened."
As he told the Associated Press, among the missing is his 21-year-old wife Esra Aoun
Abu Zeed, a 34-year-old Syrian refugee living in Hamburg, said Esra Aoun, 21, and her 19-year-old brother, Abdullah, risked the dangerous crossing from Libya to Italy after they were unable to find a legal way to meet him in Germany.
The chances of Abu Zeed's wife being among those rescued from the wreck are slim. None of the rescued were women.
Now he hopes Abdullah may be among the men from Syria, Egypt, Pakistan and the Palestinian territories who are being temporarily housed in a Kalamata warehouse or recovering in hospitals from hypothermia and exposure.
At least 40 children were on board
The UN's migration agency, known as IOM, estimated the number of passengers based on interviews with survivors and said the number of passengers included at least 40 children.
Erasmia Roumana, head of the UN refugee agency's mission, said many of the survivors have friends and relatives who are missing.
"They want to get in touch with their families to tell them they are okay and they keep asking about the missing," said Roumana.
Syrian man believes he saw his nephew in survivor photos
Mohamed Abdi Marwan, who spoke by phone from Kobani, a Kurdish-majority city in Syria, said five of his relatives were on board, including a 14-year-old. Marwan said he hasn't heard anything from them since the boat sank.
He believes his nephew Ali Sheikhi, 29, is alive after family members identified him in photographs of survivors, but this has not been confirmed.
“These smugglers were supposed to have only 500 people on board and now we hear it was 750. What is this? Are they animals or people? How can they do this?' Marwan stated. He said each of his relatives paid $6,000 for the trip.