Greece migrants
Syrian refugees arrive on a dinghy on a Greek island Reuters

At least 22 people, including women and children, have drowned trying to reach Europe as their boat sank off eastern Greece in the latest of a series of similar incidents that have cost more than 2,600 lives this year only.

The 20-metre wooden vessel went down at dawn on 15 September as it was making a short crossing from the Turkish seaside resort town of Datca to Greek island of Kos, local media reported. Turkish coastguard ships that arrived at the scene rescued 211 refugees, but also pulled from Aegean waters the bodies of 22 people, including four children and 11 women. Their nationalities were not immediately clear.

The tragedy came a day after dozens of migrants died in two shipwrecks off Greece. At least 34 people, including 15 children, died when their boat sank near the island of Farmakonisi, while two Syrian asylum seekers drowned off the Turkish city of İzmir after their dinghy capsized.

Thousands of people have reached Greece every day this summer, crossing from Turkey. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) the Mediterranean country received more than 310,000 of the 430,000 migrants that have arrived in Europe since January. From Greece, most move on to Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary, hoping to reach Germany and other northern European countries.

To stem the influx Budapest has put in place controversial emergency laws imposing harsh punishments on migrants and refugees crossing over the border. Hungary is one of several EU countries opposing a plan to redistribute 160,000 refugees across the 28-nation bloc supported by Germany and proposed by the European Commission. EU interior ministers who met in Brussels for an emergency meeting on the migrant crisis were unable to find consensus on the proposal.