Greece claims coast guard patrol boat deliberately struck by Turkish vessel

A Hellenic Coast Guard patrol boat (Photo: Hellenic Coast Guard)

Greece’s shipping ministry has said that a Hellenic Coast Guard patrol boat that was operating in Greek territorial waters was struck by a Turkish Coast Guard patrol boat on Wednesday, March 11.

The incident between the unidentified vessels occurred at 05:45 local time near the island of Kos in the eastern Aegean Sea. The Greek vessel sustained minor damage to its stern though no injuries have been reported among its crew.

The shipping ministry further told Greek local media that the crash was a deliberate act by the Turkish patrol boat crew and that the Turkish ambassador in Athens had been summoned to formally submit an explanation regarding the incident.

The collision comes amid renewed tensions between the two countries in the wake of a February 28 announcement by the Turkish government that it would cease preventing asylum seekers from attempting to enter the EU through Greece.

Commenting on the same incident on Wednesday, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that his country’s coast guard “will chase” Greek boats that are allegedly conducting anti-migrant patrols in the Aegean.

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