At least one person died and 65 were missing after two migrant boats capsized off Greece, the coastguard said today with rescuers facing gale-force conditions.
A body was recovered during the afternoon off the Greek island of Samos where yesterday evening a vessel from the Turkish coast capsized with 12 people on board, according to statements from the four survivors.
The body was recovered by a Turkish coastguard vessel that was sailing in the area and had illegally entered "Greek waters", Greek port police said this evening.
The Turkish vessel "attempted to damage a Greek patrol boat" and "obstructed" the work of the Greek coastguard and an Italian European Border Agency (Frontex) vessel participating in the search and rescue operation for missing persons off Samos, the port police said.
Greek maritime minister Ioannis Plakiotakis had accused Turkey of "trying to provoke an incident" in the Aegean Sea, a venue for recurring clashes between the two neighbours.
In the early hours of this morning, a similar shipwreck took place off the island of Euboea, near Athens, as the area was buffeted with winds of more than 50 kilometres per hour.
Initially, the Greek coastguard found nine people, Afghans, Egyptians and Iranians, on a nearby island.
This evening, another man was safely recovered from the island, bringing the number of survivors to ten.
"According to the statements of the survivors, a total of 68 people were on board the ship," coastguard spokesman Nikos Kokkalas told state-run Ert television.
The search for the 58 people presumed missing is due to continue at dawn tomorrow, according to the Greek coastguard.
Greece, Italy and Spain are destinations for people fleeing Africa and the Middle East in search of safety and better lives in the European Union.
The Greek coastguard has said it rescued about 1,500 people in the first eight months of the year, compared to fewer than 600 last year.
Greek officials say people smugglers now often take a longer and more perilous route south to bypass EU patrols in the Aegean in a bid to reach Italy.