The latest boat tragedy in the Gulf of Aden has killed at least 11 people and another 34 missing.
The boat capsized on Wednesday in rough seas and bad weather, after setting sail for Yemen last Saturday, according to survivors found on Somali beaches.
According to the accounts of the survivors, the boat with three smugglers serving as crew and 58 passengers, lost power soon after departure, setting it adrift for five days.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) expressed sadness on the fate of the Somalis.
“UNHCR is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life. Authorities in the Somali port town of Bossaso are investigating the incident and we hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.” – Adrian Edwards, Spokerperson of UNHCR
Locals found 13 survivors, including two women and a teenage boy and girl, most of whom were treated for skin burns caused by fuel inside the boat.
Last year a record 103,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants crossed the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea from the Horn of Africa — mainly Somalis and Ethiopians. A reported 130 drowned.
Among those who made the crossing last year, more than 130 are known to have drowned, and those who reached Yemen’s shores arrived in desperate conditions, suffering from dehydration and malnourishment.
In 2006, seventeen people died and some 140 are missing after two smugglers’ boats carrying them across the Gulf of Aden from strife-torn Somalia capsized in the dark off the coast of Yemen.