DAKAR (Reuters) – Up to 48 people were missing on Friday after a boat carrying around 60 people capsized off the coast of northern Senegal, the Senegalese army said in a statement.
Navy vessels rescued 11 passengers and retrieved one body from the waters after receiving an alert that a boat had overturned 35 kilometres (22 miles) from the estuary of the Senegal river.
Those rescued included eight Senegalese citizens and three Gambians, according to the army.
The army said search and rescue efforts were continuing but gave no further details on the passengers or their destination.
This year has seen a rise in the number of migrants making the dangerous crossing from Africa to the Spain’s Canary Islands archipelago, often in rickety, overcrowded boats with unreliable engines.
From Jan. 1 to July 31, at least 7,531 people reached the islands from Western Africa, according to Spanish government figures, a 136% rise compared with the same period in 2020.
Many, however, do not make it. Earlier in August, up to 47 people, including three minors, were presumed to have died after their boat encountered engine trouble on the passage from Western Sahara to the Canary Islands.
(Reporting by Diadie Ba; Writing by Alessandra Prentice; Editing by Sandra Maler)