Greece 'at breaking point' as number of migrants crossing Aegean Sea triples

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rebecca Barry

For four summers now, as the seas calm, the number of migrants trying to reach Europe rises and Greece is once again seeing the most.

More than three times as many people arrived on Greece's Aegean Islands in boats in the first week of August as in the same time last year.

And last Friday alone, 530 people made the treacherous sea journey to the islands.

More than 1,500 people have cross the Aegean Islands, tripling last year's figures. Credit: Refugee Rescue

Several packed dinghies have crossed the Aegean Sea and each time migrants are clutching onto inflatables as they make the treacherous journey.

Mothers, children and pregnant women are brought ashore on the island of Lesbos and in recent weeks the number of migrants arriving here has tripled since this time last year.


People have crossed the Aegean Islands, tripling last year's figures.


Migrants are trying to reach Europe every single day.

Nazineen travelled to Lesbos from Afghanistan with her three young children.

She said: "It was so difficult, the children are so afraid, we are so afraid...

"We escaped the fighting in Afghanistan and now we are not in a good situation here, out situation is so bad here."

Nazineen said she travelled to Lesbos for a good place for her children but she said now that is not the case.

The official camp in Lesbos was built to hold 2,000 people but now it's full so thousands more are crowded into make-shift tents in the sweltering heat.

The rise in migrants is blamed in part on the increasingly harsh treatment of refugees in Turkey.

The official camp in Lesbos was built to hold 2,000 people but now it's full.

Mental health services in Lesbos are also overwhelmed, they've had to stop accepting new patients while the number of children suffering mental illness has doubled in the last month.

A psychologist from Medecins Sans Frontieres said: "This is the seventh time I've been here in four years and I have never seen people so mentally ill as I have seen them now."

Katrin Brubakk, psychologist from Medecins Sans Frontieres, said adults and children are very vulnerable.

Katrin Brubakk added: "They're vulnerable in the first place and then the overcrowdedness makes them go worse literally by the day."

She said: "We have adults by the day that are psychotic, severely suicidal and the more stress you put on people, the worse it will get."