It was the second unexpected influx of Iraqi Kurds in four days, after another Latvian vessel packed with 391 people landed on the Baltic island on Wednesday. Coastguards intercepted the 100-ft boat on Saturday after a Gotland inhabitant reported seeing it moored off the east coast port of Ljugarn.
'It is unbelievable to think of people making this voyage in such weather in such a boat,' said the coastguard commander, Folke Gustafsson.
One man who had tried to swim to land was taken to hospital suffering from severe exposure, and a coastguard vessel escorted the refugee boat north to Slite, where the 391 Iraqi Kurds had landed on Wednesday. The three-man crew of the second boat, described by coastguards as an old Soviet military craft, were detained pending possible charges of breaking Sweden's immigration laws.Reuse content