Tunisian authorities have recovered 27 corpses of migrants off the Mediterranean Coast who apparently died trying to reach Italy from Libya.

Migrant crossings over the Mediterranean toward Europe have continued to mount in recent weeks, but the death toll has been dropping thanks to a renewed EU-coordinated rescue effort.

Tunisian security official Mongi Kadhi told The Associated Press that naval and civil protection units found the migrants between July 3-10 off the coast of the cities of Ben Guerdane and Zarzis, close to the Libyan border. He said they appeared to be African migrants.

The International Organization for Migration said Friday night that thousands of migrants had been rescued in the last 24 hours in the channel of Sicily, despite strong winds.