Rescue efforts continued yesterday for the remaining 12 illegal immigrants on board a wooden boat that had sunk off the eastern Aegean island of Samos after authorities found over the weekend seven bodies that had washed ashore. A boat carrying the illegal immigrants from Turkey sank about one nautical mile off the island on Friday during a storm. The smuggler and one of the illegal immigrants managed to reach the shore and inform authorities, who launched rescue efforts – including using a Super Puma helicopter and a land coastal search by the coast guard and firefighters. Gale-force winds in the area prevented ships from immediately joining the operation. Most of the bodies, whose identities were not known, were found in the region of Kerveri after a helicopter search northeast of Samos in the Aegean Sea, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Samos, which lies near the Turkish coast, is a major crossing point for Asian and African migrants trying to enter Greece illegally.