Tunisian authorities are reporting that at least 46 people have drowned after a boat sank on the southern coast of the country.
A spokesman from the International Organisation for Migration, Flavio Di Giacomo, claimed that there are over 70 survivors from the shipwreck. Tunisia is a well-known route used by human traffickers to transport migrants heading to Europe.
"There were around 180 of us on board the boat ... which sank because of a leak," a survivor told Tunisia's Mosaique FM radio. "I survived by clinging to wood for nine hours."
Security officials confirmed that the boat had about 180 migrants aboard, including 80 from other African countries. Di Giacomo, on Twitter, added that the death toll will likely rise as a result of the projected number of passengers on the vessel.
The Tunisian ministry of defence disclosed that dozens of people have already been helped to safety and the rescue mission continues.
"The coastguard and the navy continue their search with the support of a military plane," the interior ministry said in a statement.
Nine people, including six children, died Sunday after a speedboat carrying 15 refugees sank off the coast of Antalya, Turkey.
As of May 30, some 32,080 people had reached Europe by sea, so far, this year, IOM said.
About 660 died attempting the journey.