BUCHAREST – The coast guard of Romania intercepted on Tuesday a tourist vessel flying a Turkish flag with 61 migrants on board, according to port authority sources.
According to the sources, cited by national news agency Agerpres, the boat was escorted away by the coast guard at around 3 am.
The vessel was intercepted around 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) from the city of Constanta and arrived at the port at around 8 am, where the migrants underwent medical checkups and were identified.
Bad weather forced the passengers aboard the boat to seek help from a commercial vessel in the area and from the Romanian authorities.
Since summer, the Romanian coast guard has intercepted hundreds of migrants who have left Turkey with the aim of reaching European Union territory.
Entering Romania through the Black Sea has become an alternate route – although not very frequently used so far – for refugees and migrants from conflict-ridden regions eventually looking to reach western Europe.