Some 20 migrants, believed to be young Tunisians reached Italy's tiny southern island of Lampedusa aboard a small wooden boat at the Cavallo bianco jetty, near the main port, local officials said on Wednesday.
The migrants called out "mockingly" to beachgoers before disappearing into nearby woods, according to Sicily's Mareamico association. Around 10 of the migrants were detained soon afterwards by police, the association said.
The migrants' five-metre boat was too small to have made the crossing from Tunisia, meaning a "mother ship" accompanied the vessel until it was a few miles from the shore, Mareamico said.
Many more boat migrants arrive in Italy via so-called 'ghost landings' than those rescued at sea, according to Sicilian magistrates.