Libyan authorities are searching for the bodies of 40 would-be illegal migrants after an Egyptian fishing boat capsized off its coast, the official Libyan News Agency (LANA) said on Monday, DPA reported.
LANA reported that an Egyptian citizen Sunday informed authorities in Bardiya, near the country's border with Egypt, that the ship had capsized.
The man, named by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry as Mohammed Abdul-Qadir, 23, said that he had swum to safety after the boat sank three kilometres from the shore.
The ministry said Abdul-Qadir told authorities that the boat was carrying 40 people although it only had capacity for 15.
The ministry said that its consul in Benghazi was trying to establish if there were any other survivors.
US-based human rights organization Human Rights Watch reported that at least 1,500 would-be migrants died trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe in 2011.