Two children, a girl and a boy, and three women were among seven migrants who drowned off the coast of the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos in the early hours of Tuesday when the plastic boat that was carrying them from Turkey to Greece took on water, the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency has confirmed.
Local fishermen, the Greek coast guard and a passenger ferry responded to an SOS from Turkey saying that a vessel was in trouble and two people had fallen overboard. When they arrived at the scene of the accident and rescued the two people in the water, rescuers were told that the boat in which the pair had been traveling contained another 15 passengers. A tanker in the vicinity alerted Greek authorities to the location of the vessel.
Eight of the 17 people on board the flimsy craft were rescued and another two have been reported missing.
Details were not immediately made public regarding where the migrants had come from nor the age of the two children who drowned.