It has been confirmed that eight African female migrants have died while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea for a better life.

At least eight migrants have died and 86 have been rescued after a smugglers’ boat started to sink in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya, Dailymail has reported.

Also, a video footage showing the rescue attempt has been released. Some of the migrants could be seen holding onto lifesaving floats in the sea.

A search and rescue mission is now underway to find any possible survivors, with an aid group not involved in the rescue claiming there may be dozens of migrants still missing.

There are fears there could be as many as 25 migrants which have died, although the Libyan authorities statement has not been confirmed.

Italian navy and coast guard vessels were involved in the rescue. Coast guard Commander Sergio Liardo told Italian state TV RaiNews24 that ‘it appears the dinghy deflated’ after a puncture.

Rescuers arrived at the scene in the early afternoon and around 20 migrants were in the inflatable while a number of others were in the water.

All eight of the victims have been confirmed as female and the rescue mission is expected to continue into the night.

Survivors of the tragic incident say there were around 150 migrants on the dinghy when it left Libya.

The Spanish humanitarian group, Proactiva Open Arms, said a number of the migrants had spent hours in the water before they were rescued.

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