Saturday 6 July 2024 - 02:36

Nearly 90 Dead, Missing as Migrant Boat Capsizes off Mauritania Coast

Story Code : 1146004
Nearly 90 Dead, Missing as Migrant Boat Capsizes off Mauritania Coast
The Mauritanian coast guard recovered the bodies of 89 individuals from a large traditional fishing boat that capsized on Monday, July 1, approximately four kilometers (2.5 miles) from Ndiago, a city in the country's southwest along the Atlantic Ocean, as stated by the Guardian, citing the state news agency.

Survivors recounted that the boat departed from the border between Senegal and Gambia with 170 passengers, leaving 72 still missing.

A senior local government official corroborated this account to AFP, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Among those rescued by the coast guard were nine individuals, including a five-year-old girl, according to the state news agency.

The Atlantic route remains perilous due to strong currents, often seeing migrants embark on overcrowded and poorly equipped vessels lacking adequate drinking water. Despite these risks, the route has gained popularity as Mediterranean routes face increased surveillance.

In 2023, the number of migrants arriving at Spain's Canary Islands more than doubled from the previous year, reaching a record 39,910, according to the Spanish government. The Canary Islands lie approximately 100 kilometers off the coast of North Africa, though many embark from much further away, departing from countries such as Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Gambia, and Senegal, often in long wooden boats known as pirogues.