A two-year-old boy has become the first known migrant casualty of 2016 after the crowded dinghy he was travelling in crashed into rocks off Greece's Agathonisi island, the coast guard said on Sunday.
The yet to be identified boy drowned while the other 39 passengers aboard the boat were rescued after being left stranded in the sea after the collision.
The toddler’s body was pulled from the waters by local fishers.
The charity Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), which helps save migrants and refugees at sea, deployed a fast-rescue Responder boat to bring the passengers to safety after fishers raised the alarm.
The migrants, including the child's mother, were taken to the port of Pythagorio on Samos, the nearest island, which is some 30 miles away from the crash site.
According to the coast guard, the boat set off from Turkey early Saturday morning and 10 of the survivors were taken to hospital to be treated for hypothermia.
"Nothing can prepare you for the horrific reality of what is going on. Today we came face to face with one of the youngest victims of this ongoing refugee crisis. It is a tragic reminder of the thousands of people who have died trying to reach safety in miserable conditions," said MOAS founder and U.S. entrepreneur Christopher Catrambone in a statement.
Information on the nationalities of the migrants has yet to be released by authorities.
Last year one million refugees and asylum seekers reached the European Union setting off in boats from either Turkey or North Africa.
Most of those are refugees fleeing war and violence in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.
More than 3,600 people have died attempting to make the arduous boat journey to Europe.
The case is horribly reminiscent of three-year-old Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi, whose limp body was photographed washed up on a Turkish beach in September.
VIDEO: The Refugee Crisis in Europe