At least 15 killed in shipwreck near Dakar

DAKAR (Reuters) – At least 15 people drowned when a boat carrying migrants capsized off the coast of Senegal’s capital Dakar on Monday, Senegal’s President Macky Sall said.

The incident happened earlier in the day at the Ouakam area, one of the most popular beaches in the country.

Macky Sall announced on his Twitter account, “I express my deep sorrow at the death of fifteen Senegalese people in a canoe that capsized near Dakar. My sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims.”

Babakar Diallo, a fisherman from Ouakam who went to the beach at dawn, said he saw at least 12 bodies on the shore and people trying to help with rescue efforts. He told that two people are alive.

Babakar Diallo said, “They are continuing to retrieve bodies, but the water is muddy: we told them where they can find them, and there are probably others.”

Firefighters and divers, alerted by local fishermen and the National Navy, were still searching the area for bodies till Monday afternoon.

The number of migrant boats trying to reach Spain’s Canary Islands through the Atlantic is on the rise, despite it being one of the deadliest routes.

Senegal’s navy said on July 13 it intercepted a ship carrying about 70 migrants, its third crossing this month.

Attempts to cross from West Africa increase during the hottest summer months.

(Nagouda Dion reporting, French edition edited by Corentin Chapron, Kate Enstringer)

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