Marine Link
Tuesday, June 25, 2024

At Least 94 Dead in Mozambique After Unlicensed Ferry Boat Capsizes

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 8, 2024

© pichitstocker / Adobe Stock

© pichitstocker / Adobe Stock

At least 94 people died, including children, and 26 are missing after a ferry boat capsized off the northern coast of Mozambique, an official from the country's Maritime Transport Institute (INTRASMAR) said.

The vessel was an overloaded fishing boat and was not licensed to transport people, Lourenco Machado, an administrator of INSTRASMAR, said on state television on Monday.

"On Sunday we registered a maritime incident where at least 94 people died when a barge carrying 130 people capsized. We have recovered 94 bodies and 26 are missing," he said.

The boat was ferrying people from Lunga in Nampula province to Mozambique Island, he said, adding that initial reports indicated that it was hit by a tidal wave.

The passengers were fleeing a cholera outbreak, said state broadcaster TVM, citing another local maritime administrator.

Jaime Neto, secretary of state for Nampula province, also said that the passengers were fleeing cholera, according to the British Broadcasting Corp (BBC).

"Because the boat was overcrowded and unsuited to carry passengers, it ended up sinking," he told the BBC, adding that many children were among the dead.

Videos posted on social media X showed many bodies lying on a beach and some people carrying the bodies of children. Reuters could not immediately verify these videos.

Mozambique and other countries in Southern Africa have been battling cholera outbreaks since last year.

(Reporting by Manuel Mucari; additional reporting by Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru; Writing by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Jacqueline Wong, Clarence Fernandez and Neil Fullick)