200 migrants rescued off Greece so far in 2016; 1 dead

Refugees and migrants disembark on a beach after crossing a part of the Aegean sea from the Turkey's coast to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, on Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016. More than a million people reached Europe in 2015 in the continent's largest refugee influx since the end of World War II. Nearly 3,800 people are estimated to have drowned in the Mediterranean last year, making the journey to Greece or Italy in unseaworthy vessels packed far beyond capacity. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s coast guard says 217 migrants have been rescued by authorities since the start of the new year in four separate incidents.

Migrants, the majority of them refugees from Syria’s civil war, keep trying to enter the European Union despite the cold and rough seas.

A coast guard spokeswoman said conditions in the eastern Aegean Sea were “very unfavorable” with high winds prevailing.

The first casualty of the year, a boy, died on Saturday when an inflatable dinghy carrying 40 people was thrown into rocks off the Greek island of Agathonisi. The others were rescued, including a woman who had been thrown at sea during the crash.

On Sunday, 56 people had been rescued so far, according to the coast guard.

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