At least 12 people, including four children, have drowned when a boat carrying refugees capsized off Turkey’s southwestern Aydin province Tuesday, authorities said.
Turkish coast guard said in a statement they had rescued seven refugees earlier on Tuesday and retrieved the bodies of 12 people who drowned, including three women and four children.
“The search and rescue operations continue,” the statement said.
Authorities think at least 20 refugees were in the boat that capsized Tuesday morning as it tried to cross the sea from Turkey to the Greek islands.
According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 781,000 migrants have arrived in Greece by sea since the start of the year, mostly from Turkey. There were 632 deaths in the Aegean up to Dec. 14.
According to the UN’s refugee agency, more than 950,000 people have reached Europe by sea this year.