A Syrian man saved in a dramatic rescue operation following a migrant boat accident says his goal was to reach Germany but now he is unsure of his future.

Pelan Huseyin, 20, was rescued by a Turkish coast guard helicopter Monday as he clung to the tip of an almost submerged boat which sank in the Bay of Edremit on its way to the Greek island of Lesbos. The incident left 27 dead, including at least 11 children.

Huseyin told the AP: "I stayed five hours at sea. I looked around and saw the boat, and I hung on to it."

He spoke from a gendarmerie station where he was being kept to help authorities identify smugglers responsible for the trip.

The rescue operation was captured by Turkish coast guard cameras.