Good Company

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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Djibouti ferry capsize - 69 dead

The US Navy is lending a hand in another trajedy off Djibouti as reported here:
A boat carrying passengers to a religious festival capsized as it left Djibouti's main harbour yesterday, killing at least 69 people.
The ferry was transporting up to 300 people to the northern town of Tadjourah when it overturned and sank in the Red Sea shortly after midday. Ismael Tani, an adviser to Djibouti's president, told the Associated Press that the death toll was expected to rise.
Both the French and US militaries, which have bases in the country, were reported to have helped out in the rescue operation. Captain Bob Everdeen of the US military, which conducts counterterrorism operations in the region, said: "We called and asked if they needed any assistance. The only assistance they asked for was for our divers to go to their Djibouti navy headquarters."

The Gulf of Aden is notorious for its rough seas, and small boats ferrying people from Africa to Yemen regularly run into difficulty. The cause of yesterday's accident was unclear. The weather was reported to be fine, but there were suggestions that the boat was overloaded.

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