(ROME) -- At least 10 people trying to reach Italy from North Africa have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea after a boat filled with migrants sank on Monday.
The Italian coast guard alerted two commercial ships far off the southern coast of Italy that the boat was in trouble and the ships managed to rescue 200 people.
The boat had likely left from Libya with the Italian island of Lampedusa as its likely destination.
Despite uncertain conditions, increasingly desperate people from war-torn countries such as Somalia and Syria, are risking the dangerous crossing.
Human rights groups estimate at least 20,000 people have drowned attempting the crossing in the last two decades. Italy would like more help from the rest of Europe in patrolling the waters to prevent the drownings.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio