Six people including children drowned when a boat carrying migrants destined for Italy sank off the coast of southwestern Turkey, the coast guard said on Tuesday.
In a statement, the coast guard said a total of 73 migrants from four lifeboats were rescued on Tuesday while search and rescue operations for the five missing continued with two boats and a helicopter.
The six dead included one woman, three children, and two babies, the statement said.
The migrants initially set off from Lebanon on Saturday for Italy but needed to refuel off the coast of Greece’s Rhodes island, the coast guard said, according to detailed questioning of the rescued migrants.
The Greek coast guard, who responded to their call for help, put the migrants in four lifeboats and left them near Turkish territorial waters, the coast guard said.
According to data on the Turkish coast guard’s website, more than 30,000 irregular migrants were captured so far this year, more than double the number in the same period last year.