Coast Guard. Cmdr. Cosimo Nicastro told The Associated Press the capsized boat was first spotted Thursday by an aircraft participating in the European Union monitoring operation. The Italian coast guard responded with two rescue vessels to the location some 30 miles (50 kilometers) off Libya's coast.
Nicastro said 88 people had been rescued from the capsized wooden boat. He said he didn't have any information about whether any bodies were recovered or how big the boat was.
It is one of about 20 search-and-rescue operations underway Thursday. Nicastro said of the eight operations concluded, some 1,000 migrants have been rescued.
The Libyan coast guard also reported finding four bodies as well as also two empty boats, suggesting there could be many more victims in the Mediterranean as smugglers working in the lawlessness of Libya took advantage of calm seas and warm weather to pack would-be refugees into unseaworthy boats for the trip to Europe.