The International Organization for Migration said that at least 58 people tragically lost their lives this week when a boat carrying dozens of migrants sank off the coast of Mauritania in the Atlantic Ocean.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said after the incident which took place on Wednesday, 83 survivors swam to the shore and are currently being helped by their officials in Nouadhibou.
Survivors told IOM that no less than 150 passengers, women and children included, were on board the ship that departed from the Gambia on November 27.
IOM reported that according to survivors, the boat ran low on fuel, before sinking as it approached the coast of Mauritania.
According to IOM, an unverified number of injured people have been taken to a hospital and others are being helped by Mauritanian authorities and officials from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
“The Mauritanian authorities are very efficiently coordinating the response with the agencies currently present in Nouadhibou,” IOM Mauritania Chief of Mission Laura Lungarotti stated in a press release.
“Our common priority is to take care of all those who survived and bring them the support they need.” She added.
The boat was heading off the northwest coast of Africa to the Canary Islands of Spain, IOM stated. Many of West African migrants embark on risky journeys across the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea to enter Europe every year in search of jobs and opportunities.