The woman who drowned on Sunday was part of a group of 51 refugees, said the coast guard. Those traveling with her told coast guard officials that she had fallen overboard before they could land their vessel on the island's rocky shoreline, near the port of Karlovassi.
In a separate incident, a Greek patrol vessel rescued 41 people on a vessel that got into difficulty off the same island, Presstv Reported.
Samos is one of the five Greek islands that sit off the Turkish coast in the Aegean Sea -- together with Lesbos, Chios, Leros and Kos -- where migrants and refugees arrive daily from Turkey.
The number of arrivals has picked up significantly since the beginning of the year, and the reception camp on Samos, which has a capacity for 650, is currently holding 3,700 people, according to official figures.
Migration Policy Minister Dimitris Vitsas recently announced the creation of a new camp on Samos to try to ease the overpopulation problem there.
Refugees at the Moria camp on the nearby island of Lesbos meanwhile regularly protest the poor conditions there.
On Sunday, 500 people were transferred to Piraeus, the large port near Athens, the Greek news agency ANA reported.
The authorities periodically transfer people considered vulnerable from Samos to camps on mainland Greece to keep the refugee numbers down on the island.