Languages
Page last updated at 00:59 GMT, Friday, 10 October 2008 01:59 UK

Migrant vessel sinks off Morocco

map

Scores are missing after a boat laden with some 50 migrants capsized in rough seas off the coast of Morocco.

The boat was reportedly attempting a dangerous open-sea journey from Morocco to Spain, often used by migrants trying to reach Europe.

The body of one man has been found on a beach near the northern city of Kenitra and at least one male survivor has been rescued. Both were Moroccan.

The fate and nationalities of the other passengers remains unknown.

Helicopters were being used to scour the ocean for survivors, Morocco's MAP state news agency reported.

Thousands of migrants attempt the difficult sea crossing every year but many do not make it, says the BBC's James Copnall in Rabat.

Rickety boats

The survivor told authorities the boat had capsized half an hour after setting off on Tuesday night from Kenitra, 40km (25 miles) east of Rabat.

Kenitra was an unusual starting point for a trip to Spain, our correspondent notes, as the boat would have had to cross more than 250km of open sea.

In the past, most people attempting the sea crossing came from sub-Saharan Africa.

But a report by the International Office of Migration shows that in more recent times the majority have had North African origins.

The most desperate among those intent on reaching Europe pay hundreds of dollars for a passage on a rickety and dangerous boats.

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
From shipwreck to solidarity
10 Sep 08 |  Africa
Death shatters migration dream
10 Sep 08 |  Africa
Migrants die off Spanish coast
26 Aug 08 |  Europe


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific