More Than a Dozen Dead in Greece Migrant Boat Accidents

At least three people died when a migrant boat sank in the Aegean Sea on Friday, just hours after similar sinking claimed 11 lives, Greece’s coast guard said.

The latest tragedy, the third since Wednesday, came amid high smuggler activity not seen in Greek waters in months.

The coast guard said it found three bodies and rescued 57 people from a boat that overturned and sank near the island of Paros.

Hours earlier, 11 bodies were recovered from a boat that ran aground on an islet north of the Greek island of Antikythera on Thursday evening.

Ninety people stranded on the islet were rescued, including 27 children and 11 women, the coast guard said.

On Wednesday, a dinghy carrying migrants capsized off the island of Folegandros, killing at least three people.

Thirteen people were rescued, while dozens remain missing, Greek authorities said.

Survivors gave conflicting accounts: Some said there had been 32 people on board, while others put the number around 50, a coast guard official told AFP.

The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, said the Folegandros accident was the worst in the Aegean Sea this year.

“This shipwreck is a painful reminder that people continue to embark on perilous voyages in search of safety,” said Adriano Silvestri, the UNHCR’s assistant representative in Greece.

Earlier Friday, the coast guard intercepted another boat with 92 men and boys on board after it ran aground on the coast of the Peloponnese peninsula.

Three suspected smugglers who fled the boat on foot were later arrested.

The UNHCR estimates that more than 2,500 people have died or gone missing at sea in their attempt to reach Europe from January through November this year.

Nearly 1 million people, mainly Syrian refugees, arrived in the European Union in 2015 after crossing to Greek islands close to Turkey.