Seventeen Syrian refugees were rescued by the Cyprus coastguard from a small boat off Cape Greco on Monday and have been taken to the Kokkinotrimithia reception centre.
Their small boat was spotted at around 1.40 pm on Monday some 40 nautical miles south east of Cape Greco. The Joint Rescue Coordination Centre ( JRCC) set in motion the Navrkratis plan and a police launch was sent to the area and located the refugees aboard a small boat at around 4 pm.
Because of rough seas, the boat could not be towed to port, and the 17 passengers — 11 men, one woman and five children aged between three and 15, were brought safely to shore on the police launch.
All were in good health but a three year old girl showed signs of fever and was taken to Larnaca Hospital where she was treated and discharged.
The refugees told police that they had left Lebanon on October 29, each paying €1,000 to the person who sold them the boat. They said their destination was Cyprus and that they planned to apply for political asylum.