[File photo] Migrants are escorted by Italian navy officers after being rescued off Lampedusa on October 25, 2013.
File/FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Image
[File photo] Migrants are escorted by Italian navy officers after being rescued off Lampedusa on October 25, 2013.

Story highlights

Italy has seen a series of tragedies as migrants cross from North Africa

In October, more than 300 African migrants died in Lampedusa

Hundreds more have been rescued from often unseaworthy vessels

Rome CNN —  

About 30 bodies were found in a migrant boat rescued early Monday between Sicily and the North African coast, the Italian navy said.

Italian media reported the boat had 600 people onboard.

Italy has seen a series of tragedies as migrants in crowded boats cross from North Africa to Europe.

In October, Lampedusa made international headlines when more than 300 African migrants died when their ship sank off its shores.

As the closest Italian island to Africa, Lampedusa is a frequent destination for refugees seeking to enter European Union countries. Many of the migrants are from African nations while others have fled war-torn Syria.

Hundreds more have been rescued from often unseaworthy vessels and taken to the tiny Mediterranean island’s overcrowded detention center.

READ: U.S. Navy rescues 282 apparent migrants in Mediterranean

READ: 17 killed in sinking of migrants’ ship off Italy

READ: Italian navy rescues 730 migrants in overcrowded boats off Sicily