Boat sinks off Sierra Leone, 30 feared drowned


At least 30 people are feared drowned after a boat capsized off the coast of Sierra Leone in bad weather over the weekend, said Sierra Leonean and Guinean authorities.

The boat was carrying passengers and tonnes of merchandise between the neighbouring capitals of Conakry in Guinea and Freetown in Sierra Leone.

Guinean government spokesman Durus Yale Dore said he had reports of 30 deaths, Reuters reports.

Ibrahim Wurie, the head of Sierra Leone’s maritime administration, told journalists about 50 people had died, though authorities had recovered only two corpses.

Authorities from both countries said they were not clear whether the accident happened on Saturday or Sunday and only heard about it on Wednesday.

Accidents on over-crowded and poorly maintained boats are relatively common in the region. More than 80 people were killed in Sierra Leone in 2009 when a boat carrying mostly school children returning from holiday capsized.