Three dead bodies, believed to be those of Bangladeshi nationals missing since March 5 after they jumped off the ship "Ionian King" into the sea, were discovered in Souda Bay, Crete on Monday.

The first body was sighted at 13:45 by Greek naval forces, while the other two were located shortly afterward. All three bodies are in a state of advanced decay, according to reports.

The "Ionian King" was carrying a shipload of Bangladeshis that had been evacuated from strife-torn Libya to Crete, where they faced extradition back to their own country. As the ship approached the harbour, 49 people on board the ship jumped into the freezing waters in a desperate attempt to escape the authorities. Three were recovered dead at the time and another 11 were missing.