Europe

Search and rescue underway for migrants off Greek island

A little girl runs among tents as she plays with other children at Ritsona refugee camp, which hosts about 600 refugees and migrants, north of Athens, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. The European Union will add 115 million euros ($129 million) in funding to humanitarian organizations in Greece to assist programs for refugees and migrants before the winter, officials said Saturday. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

A little girl runs among tents as she plays with other children at Ritsona refugee camp, which hosts about 600 refugees and migrants, north of Athens, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. The European Union will add 115 million euros ($129 million) in funding to humanitarian organizations in Greece to assist programs for refugees and migrants before the winter, officials said Saturday. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)  (The Associated Press)

Greece's coast guard says a search and rescue operation is underway for dozens of migrants on board a boat near the Greek island of Samos, after someone on board called emergency services.

The coast guard said a helicopter and vessel from the European border patrol agency Frontex and a coast guard vessel are searching north of Samos for the vessel, which the caller said was carrying about 40 people.

The short but often-dangerous crossing from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands has been the preferred route for more than a million refugees and migrants hoping for better lives in the European Union. But an EU deal with Turkey reached in March and Balkan border closures have severely restricted the flow.