An Irish military ship has recovered 14 bodies from a small unseaworthy fishing boat carrying more than 500 migrants.
The vessel was found around 80 kilometres north-west of the Libyan capital Tripoli.
The cause of death is as yet unknown but migrants are offen at sea for says and suffer from dehydration and sun exposure.
A ship operated by Medicines Sans Frontieres helped in the rescue and one of its members, Juan Matias Gil, described the challenge facing Europe.
“It is impossible to believe, it is very difficult to believe, that these people are coming in these conditions. We havent had another major tragedy so far because we have been very lucky and there are rescue boats are around. But for sure the operation is not enough for all the needs that we are facing.”
Later today more than 1,000 migrants are due to arrive at the Italian ports of Messina and Reggio Calabria in the latest wave of people willing to risk the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe.
So far this year more than 1,900 migrants have died in the attempt.
The European Union is still struggling to formulate a policy on ho to deal with those trying to get to Europe.
Earlier this month the bloc failed to agree on how to spread 40,000 asylum seekers in Greece among its members over the next two years, postponing the decision until the end of the year.