Fifty-five drown off Somali coast after boat capsizes
Thursday 20 December 2012
Fifty-five people were drowned, or missing and presumed to have drowned, after an overcrowded boat capsized off the Somali coast, the UN refugee agency said today.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement that the accident on Tuesday was the worst such incident in the Gulf of Aden since February 2011 when 57 Somali migrants perished attempting to reach Yemen.
The UN agency quoted five of the survivors, all young Somali men, as saying the boat was overcrowded and ran into trouble almost immediately after leaving the port of Bosasso in the northern Somali breakaway region of Puntland.
It capsized just 15 minutes into its journey, spilling all 60 passengers into the sea. Those on board were Ethiopians and Somalis, the UNHCR said.
So far, 23 bodies have been recovered, including those of 14 women, eight men, and a boy said to be less than four years of age. Five of the dead are confirmed to have been Ethiopians. The 32 remaining passengers are presumed to have drowned.
"Without doubt, the Gulf of Aden is now the deadliest route for people fleeing conflict, violence and human rights abuses in the Horn of Africa," said UNHCR Representative for Somalia, Bruno Geddo.
African migrants often use unseaworthy boats to try to reach Yemen, seen as a gateway to wealthier parts of the Middle East and the West. Hundreds of migrants have perished at sea.
The UNHCR estimates that 100,000 people have crossed the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden this year, despite warnings about the risks.
The latest deaths bring the number of those drowned or missing in the waters between Somalia and Yemen this year to 95, the UNHCR said.
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...