Mauritania rescues seven migrants from sea, but 47 are feared dead

The vessel drifted for two weeks after the the engine broke down

The Mauritanian coastguard has rescued seven migrants from a stranded boat in the coastal Atlantic, but 47 other passengers are feared dead, the International Organisation for Migration said on Tuesday.

The boat was carrying West Africans trying to migrate to Spain’s Canary Islands, off north-west Africa, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project said.

Days after their boat departed on August 2 from Morocco, the engine broke down and the vessel drifted for two weeks.

Without adequate food or water and not knowing where they were going, passengers began to die, survivors told the IOM.

The boat drifted until it was found Monday by the Mauritanian coastguard off the coast of Nouadhibou.

The seven survivors were taken to Nouadhibou, where they received emergency assistance from the IOM and the French Red Cross. Four survivors were in critical condition and taken to hospital.

Those on the boat were from Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mauritania and Guinea. There were 11 female passengers and 43 male, including three children.

Updated: August 17th 2021, 8:23 PM