Italian news reports say rescue crews have discovered some 17 bodies in the hull of a migrant ship off Libya in the first reported deaths since the European Union took over Mediterranean rescue operations.

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni told reporters Friday that the boat was found some 150 miles off the Italian island of Lampedusa, 40 miles from the Libyan capital of Tripoli. The ANSA news agency said 17 bodies were found in the hull.

Gentiloni said Italy would intervene.

The EU operation foresees patrols 30 miles from Italy's coast. The Italian-run Mare Nostrum that ended last month patrolled waters much closer to Libya.