At least 48 people are reported missing on Friday after a boat carrying around 60 people capsized off the coast of northern Senegal, the Senegalese army said in a statement. The statement from the army said that those rescued included eight Senegalese citizens and three Gambians.
“Those on board were trying to reach Spain, naval spokesman Ameth Sow told local tv”.
According to a Reuters report, navy vessels rescued 11 passengers and retrieved one body from the waters after receiving an alert that a boat had overturned 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the estuary of the Senegal river.
Senegal is a popular jumping-off point for migrants trying to make the hazardous journey to the Spanish-owned Canary Islands — a gateway to the European Union.
Search and rescue efforts are currently underway; however, the army did not give 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 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.