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Athens: At least six people drowned on Wednesday off the shores of Kos island when a boat transferring refugees and migrants from Turkey to Greece sank in a choppy sea, the Greek Coast Guard said.
Greek authorities were alerted by a survivor who made it to the island's shore in the Aegean Sea. He said there were at least ten people aboard the small boat, Xinhua reported. The bodies of three men, two women and a toddler, were recovered so far while a rescue operation was underway to locate more survivors.
It was the second tragedy in the Aegean Sea in less than a week after 45 bodies were found on Friday.
Over 45,000 refugees and migrants have crossed over from Turkey to the Greek islands since the start of 2016, according to the International Migration Organisation (IMO). More than 60 refugees and migrants have perished in the Greek waters so far.
The statistics confirm the desperation by many to flee war and risk their lives to reach Europe regardless of newly built fences, border controls and rough seas.
In 2015 over 800,000 refugees and migrants landed on the Greek islands in old boats provided by smugglers on the other side of the Aegean. More than 3,500 people drowned in the Mediterranean Sea the same year.