Greek Coast Guard officers on Friday rescued thirteen migrants off Samos and discovered the body of a 65-year-old woman who fellow occupants said had died during the crossing from Turkey.
Officials said the woman appeared to have died of natural causes.
Authorities were searching for a migrant smuggler believed to be hiding in the area as a suspect in the illegal transportation of the migrants to the island.
The number of illegal arrivals to the Greek islands – consisting mostly of Afghan families – has picked up over the summer, and August saw the highest number of monthly landings in three years.
On Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country may have to open the route for migrants into Europe if Ankara does not receive sufficient international support to deal with the Syrian refugees within its borders.