About 20 migrants die in shipwreck off Senegal’s coast

By Thomson Reuters Feb 29, 2024 | 12:11 PM

DAKAR (Reuters) – About 20 migrants died this week when their boat capsized off the coast of northern Senegal, Prime Minister Amadou Ba said on Thursday.

The migrant support service Alarm Phone said on X that the boat had been carrying around 300 people before it capsized on Wednesday near the city of Saint-Louis, and that some made it to shore while others were still missing.

Thousands of people leave the coast of West Africa every year on a perilous journey to try to reach Europe, and the full number of deaths at sea is unknown.

Senegal mourned several deadly incidents last year, including one in which around 60 people were missing after their boat was found drifting near Cape Verde.

Traffic on the route increased last year. Between January and December 2023, 39,910 migrants reached Spain’s Canary Islands irregularly after crossing by boat from West Africa, an increase of 155% compared to 2022, said the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

(Reporting by Bate Felix, writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Aurora Ellis)