The consulate sector in the Egyptian Foreign Ministry is consulting with Greek and Libyan authorities to assist in the search and rescue operations carried out by the Egyptian Navy after a boat capsized in the Mediterranean on Friday.
The boat carrying hundreds of illegal immigrants capsized in an area between the Egyptian and Greek regional waters near the island of Crete.
Approximately 340 migrants were rescued on Friday and nine bodies were collected from the water, according to Greek officials.
The boat was carrying more than 700 migrants, according to the International Organisation for Migration.
The Egyptian Armed Forces rescue centre received a distress signal confirming that a boat located 265km north-west the Egyptian city of Al-Salloum was being battered by waves, according to the army spokesperson’s statement.
An Egyptian aeroplane and three vessels rushed to the location in cooperation with the Greek authorities to support the rescue operation.
Military hospitals in northern Egypt were put on standby, according to the statement.
Five commercial ships were near the location and participated in rescuing the immigrants.
In another incident, 100 bodies were found after a boat capsized near Libya’s coast. Their bodies appeared on a Libyan beach near the city of Zuwara.
According to the UN, 2,500 people have died in 2016 trying to reach Europe.
Concerns over more sea tragedies are being raised after the closure of the Balkan route, which used to be taken by refugees to reach Western Europe.