Four children have died after a migrant boat carrying 55 people sank off the western coast of Turkey, coast guards said on Friday.
The authorities said the boat carrying Afghan and Syrian people sank en route to the Greek island of Lesbos, near the Ayvacik district of Turkey’s western Canakkale province.
The deaths come just after a separate incident where two Syrian children also lost their lives as a boat carrying 25 refugees sank off the Bodrum peninsula.
Turkey’s Coast Guard said the two children, one-year-old Diven Halil Hussein and Beren Halil Hussein, aged four, were siblings who had been aboard with 23 other people.
The Ayvacik rescue operation came after the migrants phoned and asked for help due to rough seas and high waves.
The four children’s bodies were taken to Ayvacik State Hospital morgue; four other migrants were taken to Edremit State Hospital for treatment.
Turkish Coast Guard ships carried out eight operations on Thursday evening and Friday overnight to save migrants undertaking the dangerous sea journey to Greece, despite bad weather conditions.
Three vessels rescued a total of 357 people, including women and children, providing many with blankets, clothes, food and water.
According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 220,000 migrants arrived in Greece by sea in October and more than 220 died in the waters between Turkey and Greece that month.
Since the start of the year, the organization has recorded 653,075 migrants arriving in Greece and 512 migrant deaths in the Aegean region.