They don't want to say goodbye.

Women cling to the coffin of a loved one who died in a shipwreck off the coast of Italy.

More than 350 people died when their boat capsized and sank of the southern island of Lampedusa. Most of the passengers were from Eritria. Hundreds were thrown in the water.

It was a journey that began with hope and ended in tears.

The shipwreck has not deterred other migrants making their way from north Africa towards Lampedusa. The Italian port has been a stepping stone for those seeking a better life in Europe for two decades.

The Syrian civil war and unrest in Egypt are fueling the flow of refugees.

A short ceremony is held on the Lampedusa dockside for coffin number 319 -- it holds the body of a small child.

In Sicily coffins are placed in a cemetery.

A memorial mass for all the victims will be announced in the coming days.