According to a joint communique issued by the International Organization for Migration and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees on 19 August in Nouakchott, mauritania’s capital, the Mauritanian Coast Guard has found an illegal immigrant vessel in the country’s waters, killing 47 people on board.
The boat, carrying 54 illegal immigrants, including three children, set off from the northern African coast on March 3 and was scheduled to travel to Spain’s Canary Islands, the communique said. Two days after departure, the ship was forced to drift at sea due to engine failure, leaving the crew without food or water for two weeks.
Mauritanian coast guard found the ship on the 16th, only 7 people survived, four of them in critical condition, the communique said. Survivors have been sent to the northwestern Mauritanian city of Nouadhibou for treatment.
Illegal immigrants from West and North Africa often use Mauritania as a transit point to the Canary Islands or continental Europe. In August 2020, 39 people were killed when a migrant boat sank off Mauritania.