30 December 2011
Boat capsize of coast of Madagascar on Thursday, 29 December, 2011 at 18:51 (06:51 PM) UTC.
Forty people drowned after their boat capsized in the Indian Ocean off the north-eastern coast of Madagascar on Monday. The accident occurred as the vessel was heading from the loading port of Toamasina when strong waves hit the overloaded boat which was also carrying 50 tonnes of goods. Only two people survived the tragedy, as efforts by divers from the French Navy to rescue more people proved futile. Twelve of the victims were students of the University of Toamasina who were travelling home for the holidays. Due to changing climatic conditions, travelling by boat in the region is very risky. However, it is the only means of transport available. In August this year, the country’s Minister of Population and Social Affairs Nadine Ramaroson and 10 other people died in yet another boat accident in the region during a whale-watching event.