ISTANBUL - The death toll of the sinking of a boat carrying illegal immigrants off Turkey’s Aegean coast has risen to eight, the Turkish coast guard announced Wednesday.

“Six bodies were found washed ashore and two others at sea,” the force said in a statement posted on its website, noting the rescue operation was still continuing for 25 others reported missing.

Earlier in the day, press reports put the dead at four, with 30 missing, after the boat capsized near the Karaburun District in the province of Izmir in its attempt to reach a Greek island.

According to the coast guard statement, an Iraqi woman, who was described earlier as the only person rescued, reported the incident to local gendarme after surviving on a life jacket.

The Aegean Sea was the main route for refugees fleeing toward Europe via Turkey. A deal signed between Turkey and the European Union in March 2016 has helped curb the flow of illegal immigration.

Since this year, 20,688 migrants have attempted to reach Greek islands via Turkey, up from 16,048 over the same period in 2017, according to latest figures released by the Turkish coast guard.

About 30 illegal immigrants have been reported dead off western Turkey since July this year.