Ferry sinking off Gabon leaves at least 21 dead

Search teams in Gabon have recovered the dead bodies of 15 people who were passengers on passenger/vehicle RoRo Esther Miracle (IMO 7111810) that sank off the Gabon coast last week. The discoveries brought the provisional death toll to 21, the coordinator of rescue operations, Bekale Meyong, said on Tuesday March 14th. Sixteen passengers remain missing.

The 50-year-old 346 gt ferry was carrying 161 passengers from Libreville to Port-Gentil when it sank close to the coastal village of Nyonie on March 9th.

Meyong said on state television on Tuesday that 124 people had been rescued.

The government has not yet commented on the cause of the incident.

Ferries are often overloaded in Gabon. There were also unconfirmed reports that the ship was weighed down with cars, livestock and other merchandise.

1971-built, Gabon-flagged, 346 gt Esther Miracle has an unknown owner andmanager.