Maltese authorities informed the Egyptian embassy in Valletta of a call for help they received from a boat near Maltese waters, according to Egypt's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Sixteen Egyptian irregular immigrants were on board, in addition to three Libyans who made up the crew.
A Maltese rescue team saved the boat and those on board were referred to Maltese authorities for investigations.
Mohamed Abdel Hakam, the foreign ministry assistant for consular affairs and Egyptians abroad, said officials from the Egyptian embassy in Malta visited the Egyptians in detention and made sure they were safe.
He added that said the 16 detained Egyptians are from a village in Qalyoubiya governorate.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.