The death toll from the sinking of a wooden boat carrying refugees and migrants in the Aegean has risen to 16, including four children, Greek authorities announced on Saturday. In the latest announcement, issued after two more bodies were recovered, the number of those on board the boat when it sank was raised to 21.
A search and rescue operation in the waters southeast of Agathonissi is continuing, in hopes of finding more people still missing, while authorities will also mount an underwater mission to search the sunken vessel for bodies possibly trapped inside.
So far, only one man and two women have survived the shipwreck and managed to swim ashore to a beach in Agathonissi, where they were picked up and given first aid. The dead bodies and the three survivors have been taken to Pythagorio, Samos in a coast guard vessel.
The Greek coast guard launched a major rescue operation after the sinking was called in on Saturday morning, with the participation of two offshore vessels, two patrol boats, a Hellenic Navy gunboat, three fishing boats, a Hellenic Air Force helicopter, a Frontex vessel and nearby ships.