Syrian Refugees are rescued
A Tanzanian flagged ship, named ‘Haj Zaher’, that was carrying Syrian refugees called for SOS the pervious night with the danger of sinking and drifted to the north of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ s Tatlısu coast. The ship was brought to Kyrenia Tourism port with a successful rescue operation by the TRNC and Turkish teams. The TRNC Coast Guard Command headquarters who received the mayday call on Sunday, had sent a boat from Kyrenia and two boats from Famagusta to the rescue. Turkey’s coast commander headquarters who received the same mayday call simultaneously sent a search and 2 rescue ships to the area. A trade ship that was in the area at the time was also directed to the scene.
With the presidency of Security Force Commandership, the Coast Guard Commandership, the General Police Directorate, Civil Defense Force Headquarters and Ministry of Health officials an emergency meeting was coordinated and a crises center was formed.
Initially, search and rescue operation that were carried out by coast guards and trade ships failed because of the bad weather and sea conditions, however later, the ship full of refugees was backed up by Search and Rescue ship ‘TCSG UMUT’ from the Republic of Turkey, and was pulled to Kyrenia Tourism port on 23 November 2014.
There were 235 refugees on the ship of which 25 were children and 19 were from Iraq. The refugees were later taken and placed to Kyrenia Ertuğrul Apakan indoor sports hall where they were given hot meals and blankets and other needs were provided by the Civil Defense authorities.
In compliance with the international rules, 19 Iraqi and 216 Syrian refugees are sent back to Mersin, where they came from.
10 people among who were pregnant or ill, and their relatives, were kept in the TRNC for further healthcare.