At least 21 people, including six children, have perished after their boats sank off the Greek islands of Farmakonisi and Kalolimnos, with dozens of other migrants reported missing.
Police said 48 survivors managed to reach the coast of Farmakonisi after the first boat hit rocks around 12.30am Irish time as it was making the perilous crossing from Turkey.
The coastguard recovered the bodies of six kids and a girl. Several hours later, the small Aegean island of Kalolimnos capsized off.
Authorities recovered eight bodies, with the 26 survivors reporting that dozens of individuals had been on the boat.A hunt was under way for the others, authorities said. Another six bodies are uncovered.
Despite the dangers and also the harsh winter weather, people fleeing distress and war in the Middle East and elsewhere – many of them Syrian refugees – are still arriving from Turkey in flimsy boats in their thousands every day.