The boat capsized in the Aegean Sea late Friday, about 8 kilometers from the island of Paros. Survivors have told the Coast Guard that there were around 80 people in the boat.
Five Coast Guard patrols, nine private vessels, a helicopter and a military aircraft took part in the search for survivors on Saturday night.
The Coast Guard states that 16 dead have been found, among them three women and a baby. 63 have been rescued alive.
Earlier Friday, another boat ran aground on the Peloponnese peninsula with 92 people on board. Three people suspected of being human traffickers fled the scene, but were later arrested.
– These days, the criminal activity of smugglers, who do not care about human lives, has increased. Large groups of suffering people are placed without life jackets in boats that do not even meet basic safety standards, says Minister of Maritime Affairs Giannis Plakiotakis in Greece.
On Thursday, at least eleven people died when a boat went down off the island of Antikythera. On Friday, a search operation also took place for the third day in a row after a boat went down near Folegandros and at least three people died.
The UN estimates that more than 2,500 people have died or been missing at sea in an attempt to reach Europe from January to November.