41 migrants, including three children, have died in a shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa after a small boat that had set off from Sfax in Tunisia capsized and sank in the Strait of Sicily.

Four people survived the shipwreck: three men and one woman, originally from Ivory Coast and Guinea. They were rescued by a Maltese cargo ship and taken to Lampedusa by the Italian Coast Guard, according to Italian newswire ANSA.

The four survivors told the Coast Guard that 45 people had left Sfax. After about six hours of navigation, the 7-metre metal boat capsized due to a large wave, and all 45 migrants ended up in the sea. Authorities have not yet recovered the bodies.