A dilapidated fishing boat crammed with hundreds of migrants that lost its steering and had been drifting in the wind-lashed Mediterranean Sea south of the Greek island of Crete was successfully towed to port Tuesday, Greek authorities said.

Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said there were approximately 400 people on the vessel, down from his earlier estimate of 500. He said it was not immediately clear where it had sailed from.

In a letter later Tuesday to the European Commission, Mitarachi requested that the migrants be relocated to other European Union nations in solidarity with Greece.

“We ask the Commission to immediately undertake and coordinate a relocation initiative in response to this (rescue) operation, ensuring the responsibility in saving lives at sea is fairly shared among” EU members, he wrote.

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