(MENAFN) 48 nationals have been rescued by Tunisia's coastguard while there boat started sinking as they tried to get to Italy by sea, its interior ministry said on Saturday.
A patrol spotted the vessel on Friday night off Jebeniana, located 130 miles south of Tunis, while nine-meter ship "was sinking after taking on water".
The passengers were aged 16 to 40, and from the governorates of Medenine and Sfax.
Tunisians regularly attempt to cross the Mediterranean to pursue a better future in Europe-more than 3,000 reached the Sicilian shores in 2017 alone.
Most who make the dangerous journey to Europe are unemployed young men - Tunisia's youth unemployment rate is 35 per cent, according to the World Bank.