Athens: Fifteen people lost their lives when a boat carrying refugees and migrants sank off the coasts of Lesvos island in the Aegean Sea, Greece’s Coast Guard said on Thursday morning.
Another 15 who have been rescued told authorities that about 40 people were on board when the incident happened, an e-mailed press release has said, adding that a rescue operation was underway, Xinhua news agency reported.
All victims were young women of African origin, Hellenic Coast Guard spokesperson Nikos Kokkalas told Greek national broadcaster ERT.
Meanwhile, 80 people have been rescued off the island of Kythira in southern Greece after another boat crashed onto rocks and sank on Wednesday night, he said.
Survivors said approximately 95 people were on the boat, according to an e-mailed press release. No information was given on their nationalities.
Both rescue operations were hampered by strong winds reaching Category 8 on the Beaufort wind force scale, authorities said.