A boat accident in Sandu, in Upper River Region, has claimed 8 lives while a similar accident has killed 20 people in Senegal, mostly women.
Gambia’s police spokesperson, Foday Conta, has confirmed to The Torch that the 8 died after a boat capsized, though its causes are not known yet.
“8 people died and the accident happened between Tabajang and Diabugu,” Conta said.
They are fishermen who were returning home from a fishing trip and their boat capsized at 10pm, the police PRO said.
Meanwhile, the incident in Senegal occurred last night, with the traditional flat-bottomed boat overturning off Bettenty, an island area just north of The Gambia, with 72 on board.
At least 20 people, almost all women, were killed when a wooden boat capsized off Senegal’s central coast in a delta region popular with tourists, firefighters said on Tuesday.
The incident occurred last night, with the traditional flat-bottomed boat overturning off Bettenty, an island area just north of The Gambia, with 72 on board.
All except two of those on board were women, said Commander Umar Kane, a senior firefighting official.
“Unfortunately, we have 20 bodies and one person missing,” Kane told AFP, saying another 51 people had been rescued.
He said there were only two men on board.
The boat capsized as the women were on their way to look for seafood, he said. The incident occurred in a coastal area well known for its delicacies like oysters, where tourists flock in large numbers.
Bettenty is an island area in the Saloum delta where such boats, known as pirogues, are often used for traveling between the mangroves and from one islet to another.
It was not immediately clear what caused the accident, with divers called in to help the search, Kane said.
L’Observateur daily said the boat had capsized in high winds, while other newspapers said it had foundered because it was overloaded.
Several papers recalled the Jola tragedy of 2002 when a ferry sunk during a storm, killing more than 1,800 people in what was one of the world’s worst-ever maritime disasters.