Tragedy struck off the coast of Mauritania when an overcrowded vessel which was carrying 150 migrants capsized, drowning no less than 58 victims, while 83 others reportedly swam ashore with the guidance of local divers.
The United Nations migration agency revealed in a statement that the vessel which left The Gambia about a week ago was running low on fuel when it approached the Mauritanian coast.
Reports say rescue officials are still on the look out to find more bodies of victims who drowned during the incident.
Leonard Doyle of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Thursday that the vessel was unseaworthy and overcrowded when it overturned.
“It speaks really to the callousness of the smugglers who of course have made their money and disappeared into the wilderness. That’s the problem here, people are being exploited, people are looking for a better life,” Doyle told Al Jazeera.
The incident is reported to be one of the deadliest since the mid-2000s when Spain stepped up patrols and fewer boats attempted the perilous journey after North African country; Libya became key departure point to Europe.
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