Boat Sinks Off Madagascar; Soccer Team Feared Dead

Tuesday, June 12, 2001
About 40 people, including an entire soccer team, were missing on Tuesday after a boat sank off Madagascar, state radio said.

The boat, which went down in bad weather at midday on Monday, was the second vessel with a soccer team on board to sink off the coast of the Indian Ocean Island in as many months.

Rescue services including a French naval vessel were searching for survivors, alerted by a distress signal sent by the crew.

The boat, called Saifia, was en route from Toamasina on the east of the island to Maroantsetra, roughly 190 miles to the north.

The radio said the missing included 11 passengers, five dock workers, eight crew, and 16 members of Le Racing Club d'Antongil soccer team, which plays in a regional league.

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