(CNN) -- EU border patrol missions are scouring the Italian shore in search of yet another missing vessel carrying North Africans attempting to reach Europe, a Maltese commander told CNN Thursday.
Many immigrants from Africa attempt to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean in overcrowded boats.
On Friday, a French patrol frigate operating under Frontex, a EU border patrol mission, alerted Italian officials of new incoming vessels after sighting six corpses floating in the Mediterranean.
Maltese army officials were unable to recover the corpses because of poor weather conditions.
"Unrelated to these corpses cited, last Friday, we monitored a fiberglass boat that originated from North Africa carrying about 30 to 35 people on board," said Major Ivan Consiglio from Valletta, the Maltese capital.
"Its fate is uncertain," he said. "We have lost track of this boat."
Malta is a hub for immigrants from Africa trying to reach Europe.
Approximately 20,000 would-be immigrants have been apprehended on European shores just this year alone, according to Frontex figures.
But many do not survive the trek.
"These waters are like the American Wild West," Consiglio said. "So many boats try to cross with families and children and some never make it."
Humanitarian groups such the Dutch-based UNITED against Racism, which keeps records on immigration, say thousands of Africans have died trying to cross the Mediterranean and the Adriatic.
The trek between Sicily and Tunisia has been dubbed "a floating cemetery for African immigrants."
In August, 70 people died off the cost of Malta attempting to cross the Mediterranean.
On Wednesday, about 300 would-be immigrants were rescued during a storm in the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Consiglio said that a growing number of would-be immigrants are braving the waters of the Atlantic in overcrowded dingy boats -- a dangerous mission this time of the year.
"It's fall here, waters are choppy and covered with fog," he said. "Trips are becoming even riskier and these locally-manufactured fiberglass boats don't have the same rigidity."