Italian media reported that the Italian Coast Guard rescued about 46 migrants and recovered the bodies of 8 people, including a pregnant woman, after spotting a boat in Maltese waters.

The Italian news agency ANSA reported in the early hours of Friday morning that the coast guard spotted the boat in the Maltese search and rescue area as it approached the island of Lampedusa in southern Italy.

The agency added that the boat was carrying dozens of people from North Africa.

Among the eight dead were 3 women, including a pregnant woman.

The Italian media did not provide details of the nationalities of the passengers of the sunken boat.

It is noteworthy that many people annually risk crossing from North Africa across the Mediterranean to the European Union, often heading to Italy and Malta, in the hope of a better life in Europe.

The boats are often overcrowded and unsafe.