Greek authorities say four bodies have so far been found during a coast guard search off the eastern island of Kos after a boat carrying immigrants illegally into the country from nearby Turkey was reported to have sunk.

Local media reported that the four bodies belonged to a girl aged 10-13, two women, one of whom was pregnant, and a man.

The Merchant Marine Ministry said the bodies were discovered Friday near the northern tip of the Aegean Sea island, but gave no further details.

The search was launched Thursday after a man who identified himself as being Syrian said he had survived the boat sinking but that 11 or 12 other people were on board.

Greece is the busiest crossing point for illegal immigration in the European Union. [AP/Combined reports]