5 more migrant deaths in Aegean – Greek coastguard
ATHENS, Greece – The Greek coastguard on Sunday, October 18, said 5 more migrants including a baby and two boys had died trying to cross the Aegean Sea from neighboring Turkey.
Most of the deaths occurred near the island of Kastellorizo, where an American-flagged sailing boat said it had rescued nearly a dozen people, with a dead infant among them. (READ: Dead infant's photo shows Europe's refugee plight)
A subsequent search by coastguard vessel recovered the bodies of a boy and two women and crews are still searching for a missing man, the coastguard said.
In a separate incident, an 8-year-old boy of apparent Iraqi origin was confirmed dead on arrival on the island of Farmakonissi.
The boy's parents told officials that he had fallen out of a boat containing another 110 people, and was unconscious when they plucked him out of the water.
Nearly 300 people trying to escape conflict and poverty in their home countries have died in the Aegean Sea this year according to the International Organization for Migration. (READ: Greece hit by refugee surge)
With winds in the Aegean now reaching 50 kilometers an hour, deadly sinkings occur nearly every day.
The UN refugee agency UNHCR has reported an increase in the number of migrant boats arriving from Turkey this week.
"The surge in arrivals could be the result of a temporary improvement in the weather, a rush to beat the onset of winter, and a fear that European borders may soon close," UNHCR said Friday.