At least 25 drown as boat capsizes in Sierra Leone

July 31, 2006

FREETOWN (Reuters) – At least 25 people drowned after their
boat capsized in heavy rain at the mouth of a river in Sierra
Leone, the head of a boat owners’ association in the West
African country said on Monday.

“A wooden boat with about 50 passengers … that left
neighboring Guinea for Sierra Leone on Saturday capsized along
the Great Scarcies river when a wave struck it during a heavy
downpour,” Osman Kamara said.

Fisherman and police officials rescued six passengers but
recovered 25 bodies. The other passengers were feared drowned
although a search was still underway, Kamara said.

Many of the vessels plying trade and passenger routes on
inland waterways and off Africa’s shores are poorly maintained,
with accurate passenger manifests a rarity.

About 120 people drowned after a boat packed with
passengers and good capsized on Ghana’s Lake Volta in April, a
week after an overloaded vessel carrying three times the number
of people it was built to take sank off Djibouti killing more
than 100.

Source: reuters

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