Boat capsizes off Mauritania coast, about 58 migrants dead

Published on : Friday, December 6, 2019

A boat carrying dozens of migrants capsized in the Atlantic Ocean off the West African nation of Mauritania.



Since the mid-2000s when Spain stepped up patrols and fewer boats attempted the journey, this sinking is considered to be one of the deadliest incidents.



A week ago the boat left Gambia and was carrying 150 people that included women and children.



Laura Lungarotti, chief of mission in the West African nation with the UN migration agency said that it was headed towards Spain’s Canary Islands when it tried to approach the Mauritanian coast to get fuel and food.



She said that many drowned and the ones who survived swam up to the Mauritanian coast close to the city of Nouadhibou.The Mauritanian authorities are very efficiently coordinating the response with the agencies currently present in the northern city.




According to the agency at least 83 people swam to shore, while Mauritanian authorities mentioned that the security forces found 85 survivors.



So far it was not clear that anyone was missing, the survivor received care in accordance with human solidarity, fraternity and African hospitality.



The boat had around 180 people and they were aged between 20 to 30.



An investigation will be conducted by Mauritania to find out those responsible for the drama including  possible trafficking networks.



In an attempt to reach the Canary Islands between 2005 and 2010 thousands once died off the Mauritania’s coast.



In recent times the authorities have detained boasts carrying hundreds of migrants from Senegal which is neighbouring to Gambia.



On November 27 the survivors said that the boat that capsized had left Gambia. The authorities did not provide any immediate statement in Gambia. Here many people set hopes of reaching Europe in recent years.


Between 2014 and 2018 more than 35,000 Gambians arrived in Europe as per the UN migration agency.

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