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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Three people have died and up to 12 others are missing after a dinghy carrying migrants overturned near the Greek resort island of Mykonos, officials said.

The incident in the Aegean Sea occurred early Friday. The search involving two rescue helicopter along with coast guard and private vessels was launched after two men, a Palestinian and a Syrian, swam to rocks near the shore and were spotted by authorities.

The bodies of two adult women and an adult man were recovered at sea several hours later.

Coast Guard spokesman Nikos Kokkalas said moderate winds were prevailing in the search area, adding that the incident occurred at around 6 a.m. off the northeast shore of Mykonos.

The island is more than 150 kilometers (95 miles) from the closest point on the Turkish coast.

Smugglers based in Turkey have frequently chosen open sea routes in recent years to try to avoid the heavily patrolled waters of the eastern Aegean where several large Greek islands lie close to the Turkish coast.