By Agency report
No fewer than 18 people, seeking to migrate to Europe by crossing the Mediterranean, died in a pair of unrelated boating accidents late on Wednesday, according to Greek officials.
One boat sank off the island of Lesbos after encountering strong winds.
There were 40 people on board, reportedly all women.
By Thursday morning, 16 of them had been found dead, according to the Greek coastguard.
Nine were reported saved while a search with boats and helicopters continued for 15 further women.
Meanwhile, a sailboat carrying about 95 migrants, crashed into a rocky cliff amid strong winds late on Wednesday off the island of Kythira.
Rescue crews reported that 80 people had been rescued, but that two had been found dead by Thursday morning.
Video images circulating showed how the ship’s passengers had desperately tried to climb the cliff wall after the crash.
Rescue work was still ongoing on Thursday.
Wind and wave patterns were stronger than usual in the Aegean Sea, but that was not stopping migrants from attempting to make journeys from Turkey to Greece or Italy in the hopes of reaching European Union territory.
In many cases, the migrant boats were in poor condition and carrying too many passengers.