ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek rescuers on Wednesday recovered 20 bodies of migrants who drowned after their small boat capsized while trying to cross from Turkey to Greece, the coast guard said, and dozens more were feared dead.
The boat sank on Tuesday in rough seas and gale force winds and a search-and-rescue operation was still under way off the Greek island of Evia on Wednesday, the coast guard said.
Twelve people have been rescued but survivors told authorities said as many as 68 people had been on board.
The number of asylum seekers trying to reach Europe from Turkey, mainly from war-torn or poverty-stricken countries in the Middle East and Africa, has fallen since Europe’s 2015 migration crisis.
But Greek authorities say they have seen an increase in attempted entries through its land and sea borders with Turkey.
The sinking off Evia was the second involving a migrant boat this week. On Monday, four migrants were rescued near the eastern Aegean island of Samos, close to Turkey, after their inflatable dinghy capsized.
(Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Nick Macfie)