The coastguard on Monday rescued 21 people adrift in a boat off Cape Greco, the Defence Ministry said.
It said that the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre had received an urgent message from a cargo ship about a small boat with a large number of people adrift south of Cape Greco.
The JRCC activated the national search and rescue scheme Neachos, sending a coastguard boat to the area and putting a helicopter and medical staff on standby.
The rescue operation was completed around noon with the coastguard picking up a total of 21 people — 10 men, two women and nine children who were brought to safety to Larnaca port.
The Interior Ministry has now taken over processing the affected individuals.
The Cyprus News Agency said that they told police that they are Syrians and that they had bought an inflatable boat and a GPS and set off from Lebanon on the night of October 5.
They are expected to ask for political asylum, it added. Once police complete their inquiries they will be taken to the Kokkinotrimithia