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Underwater photos of what may be a migrant boat on the seabed evoke horrifying images of what it would have been like for the hundreds aboard when the ship went down. Only 24 bodies have been recovered since the April 18 tragedy off the coast of Libya that killed up to 900 people in the Mediterranean's deadliest migrant tragedy in living memory.

The Italian navy's discovery of the wreck 1,235 feet underwater some 85 miles north of Libya would greatly boost chances of finding more human remains.

Search teams based on two minesweepers and a smaller navy vessel used sonar instruments and a submersible to locate the 27-yard blue boat that fit the description of the one that sank, the navy said in a statement.

An Italian Navy submersible captured this image of what is believed to be the wreck of the fishing trawler that sunk off the coast of Libya on April 18, killing as many as 900 migrants. The wreck is resting on the seabed at a depth of 1,235 feet.Italian Navy

Asked if Italian authorities believed the migrant boat had now been found, a navy spokesman said, "Yes ... The location and length are correct, but we cannot be certain."

Lawlessness in Libya, where two rival governments are vying for control, has given almost free rein to traffickers. Two survivors of the disaster were arrested on the island of Sicily last month on suspicion of trafficking people on the ship.

— NBC News and Reuters