ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greek authorities conducted a large search and rescue operation off the coast of the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos Wednesday after a boat carrying migrants overturned, leaving at least four people dead, including two children.
The coast guard said the bodies of a girl, a boy, a man and a woman were recovered while five men and a woman were rescued. The survivors and the bodies were taken to a hospital in the island's main town of Mytilene.
The coast guard said two of its patrol boats, as well as two navy ships, an air force helicopter, a tugboat, and three vessels and a helicopter from the European border patrol agency Frontex were searching for more possible survivors. Weather in the area was reported as good.
The first two people rescued told authorities they had been in a dinghy with nine other people when the vessel capsized as it headed to the island from the nearby Turkish coast. The nationalities of those on board were not immediately available.
Lesbos has been the main arrival point for hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants heading to Europe. Numbers of new arrivals have fallen dramatically following a March deal between the European Union and Turkey to limit the refugee flow.
Many migrants have died during the short but dangerous crossing when their unseaworthy and overcrowded boats have capsized or sunk.