Athens (AFP) - A woman, a young girl and a baby have died after a boat carrying migrants and refugees to the Greek island of Lesbos sank, the ministry of shipping said Wednesday.
The three victims' bodies were found by divers under the capsized vessel, the ministry said.
The Greek coastguard had launched a search and rescue operation, aided by a helicopter of European border agency Frontex, after a Turkish patrol raised the alarm.
The ministry said 21 other migrants had been on board the boat sailing from Turkey's shores to Lesbos, and that they reported that three passengers had gone missing.
It was unclear whether the three victims were related, nor was there any information about their nationalities.
The survivors were taken back to Turkey.
The three latest deaths in the narrow crossing from Turkey to Greece come after a one-year-old boy died off the coast of Lesbos last Friday.
The International Organization for Migration says more than 590,000 refugees and migrants have reached Europe's shores since January, while more than 3,000 have died or gone missing.
More than 450,000 of the total have arrived in Greece.
Athens and the UN refugee agency have both called on the European Union to open up more legal channels for refugees desperately fleeing war and persecution, so that they do not have to risk their lives in order to reach safety.