The bodies of three women were found at sea by a coast guard ship, while two more bodies were discovered ashore by the Italian financial guard.
Severe weather conditions remain in place in the search area. According to those rescued, up to 20 passengers of the boat are unaccounted for.
On 23 November, the coast guard saved 149 migrants from the boat that was in distress a mile (1.6 kilometre) from Lampedusa. The next day, the search and rescue for those missing continued.
Sono 149 i naufraghi tratti in salvo oggi durante complesse operazioni di soccorso. Dalle 16 di oggi tutte le nostre squadre sanitarie operative a #Lampedusa, sono state impegnate nelle attività sanitaria a bordo delle motovedette della @guardiacostiera, 1 team è ancora a bordo pic.twitter.com/XAbUoIALOZ— CISOM (@CIS0M) November 23, 2019
Italy is one of the main entry points to Europe for undocumented migrants fleeing hostilities and poverty in Middle Eastern and North African countries.
Prior to that, former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini issued a formal decree prohibiting private rescue ships to enter the Italian waters without permission and envisaging an up to one million euro fine ($1.1 million) for non-compliance.
In April, Salvini refused to allow the docking of the Alan Kurdi rescue ship, operated by the Sea Eye NGO. According to the report, it had 64 migrants on board, including women and children. They eventually disembarked in Malta and were distributed among France, Germany, Luxembourg, and Portugal.