12 Dead Many Missing After Boat Capsizes off Turkey

The Turkish Coastguard has recovered the bodies of 12 refugees who drowned in the Aegean after the boat they were traveling on sank near the Foca district of the western Turkish province of Izmir.

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So far this year 87 migrants have died or gone missing while crossing the Aegean, 22 of them were children. Photo: Robert Young Pelton/ MOAS

The Turkish Coast Guard found the bodies while on patrol early Thursday and and rescued 28 survivors, including women and children according to the Turkish news agency, Andalu.

Survivors were taken to the Foca harbour and later to the local hospital where they were treated.

Meanwhile, the search continues by air and by sea for an unspecified number of refugees, believed to be in the region of 20.

So far this year, a staggering 35,455 people have crossed by sea from Turkey to Greece despite inclement weather conditions which have resulted 87 people dying or going missing along the way, not counting Thursday’s casualties.

This compares to just 1,684 people crossing in all of January last year. Over the year the numbers picked up and at the end of 2015 Greece had received more than 850,000 migrants and asylum seekers and more than 800 people died during the crossing.

Because of the particular profile of the people travelling, predominantly Syrian, who tend to make the crossing in groups with families, a large proportion of the victims have been children.

This year alone, of the deaths and missing people recorded so far by the International Organisation for Migration, 22 have been children.