Italy Recovering Bodies From Sunken Boat
Death toll stands at 14 'at the moment'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 12, 2014 9:35 AM CDT
Updated May 12, 2014 11:02 AM CDT
Italian Coast Guard personnel are seen on a patrol boat in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Francesco Malavolta)

(Newser) – A boat crowded with migrants sank today in the Mediterranean just beyond Libya's territorial waters, leaving at least 14 dead, said the Italian Navy, which helped rescue more than 200 survivors. The Navy said "at the moment 14 bodies have been recovered." There was no estimate of the number of possible missing because it wasn't immediately determined how many people had been aboard (contrary to initial reports, which cited 400 passengers).

The sinking occurred some 100 miles south of the tiny Sicilian island of Lampedusa and about 40 miles north of the Libyan coast, Italian authorities said. Nationalities of the survivors and dead were not immediately reported. CNN notes that Italy's military has rescued about 2,000 migrants just in the last five days, and a boat that sank off Tripoli yesterday left at least 40 dead. Many of the boats set out from Libya's loosely patrolled coast with migrants who are fleeing wars or hardship in Syria, Eritrea, and elsewhere.