Tens of thousands of people cross the Mediterranean every year in rickety boats, attempting to enter Europe illegally.
Italy's navy used to patrol the sea all the way to North Africa to rescue migrants trying to make the journey but that is no longer the case.
Their efforts have been replaced by Operation Triton, a new EU-funded maritime patrol, but it will only monitor Italy's coastline and not help people struggling further out at sea.
Al Jazeera's Sue Turton reports from Lampedusa.
Source: Al Jazeera