Dozens of Gambians, including some women, are feared to have drowned in a vessel accident on Wednesday around the coast of Mauritania.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) already confirmed the death of 58 migrants after a vessel sank at sea.
The UN agency said in a statement that the vessel left The Gambia last week with the intention of reaching Europe.
“At least 58 people are confirmed dead after a vessel carrying migrants sank as it approached the coast of Mauritania today,” the UN migration agency said on Thursday in a statement.
According to IOM, eighty-three others swam to shore and are receiving assistance from Mauritanian authorities, IOM and UNHCR.Survivors told IOM staff in Nouadhibou, the second largest city in northern Mauritania, that at least 150 people including women and children were aboard the vessel, which they said began its journey last Wednesday (27/11) in The Gambia.
They said the vessel was running low on fuel when it approached the northwest African nation.
“The Mauritanian authorities are efficiently coordinating the response with the agencies currently present in Nouadhibou,” said Laura Lungarotti, IOM Chief of Mission in Mauritania.
“Our common priority is to take care of all those who survived and bring them the support they need.”
The injured have been transferred to the city hospital and IOM is deploying a medical doctor to support the local response.
The statement indicated that Mauritanian authorities are coordinating with The Gambian consular services to ensure that the necessary support is provided to the migrants while in Nouadhibou and The Gambian ambassador will travel to the city.