At least 22 people have died after a boat carrying refugees, mostly women and children, sank early Tuesday in the Aegean Sea off Turkey's southwestern Mugla coast.
The incident occurred off Bodrum Bay in Mugla as a 15-meter day-trip vessel 'Aricioglu', packed with hundreds of refugees, sailed to the nearby Greek island of Kos, Mugla Province Governor Amir Cicek told Anadolu Agency.
Turkish Coast Guard Command said 249 people have been rescued so far after a patrol plane spotted the sinking vessel two kilometers (one mile) south of Orak Island. Five search and rescue ships were dispatched.
The 22 dead bodies were found in the vessel during a search of the ship by rescuers and divers from the Bodrum Marine Rescue Association.