Greece's coast guard says it has rescued 59 migrants in an inflatable dinghy in rough weather in the Aegean Sea.

The migrants were picked up early Wednesday off the eastern island of Kos by two patrol boats.

With many islands close to the Turkish coast, Greece has been the main entry point into the European Union for hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees hoping for better lives in Europe, especially in the continent's more prosperous central and northern nations.

An EU-Turkish agreement and Balkan border closures have severely reduced the flow of people through the country this year. Under the deal, new arrivals on Greek islands face being returned to Turkey. The measure has left more than 57,000 people stranded in Greece.