ISTANBUL — Twenty-seven migrants and refugees drowned Monday after their boat sank while trying to reach a Greek island, Turkey's coast guard said.
Eleven of the dead were children, the coastguard told NBC News, after the incident between the Turkish coast of Altinoluk and the Greek island of Lesbos.
Officials received a callout from local fishermen at around 6 a.m. local time (11 p.m. ET Sunday). They were able to rescue four people from the boat, which survivors said was made of fiberglass and held around 40 people.
The coast guard is still searching for the rest of the migrants and refugees.
Meanwhile, Reuters cited Turkey's Dogan news agency as saying 11 migrants and refugees died in a separate sinking further south, off the coast of Dikili.
More than 900,000 people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iran arrived in Greece from Turkey last year.