DAKAR: Four people died after a boat carrying dozens of tourists capsized during heavy storms in Senegal, authorities and emergency services said Tuesday.
The death toll could rise as three passengers were said to be missing after the accident.
The boat was carrying several Senegalese nationals, six French people, two Germans, two Swedes and one person from Guinea-Bissau, when it turned over Monday in driving rain and a heavy swell, fire department chief Papa Angel Michel Diatta said.
All the dead were Senegalese, officials and emergency services said. Two worked in a national park, one was a woman and the other victim was a child, Diatta said.
The boat was heading for the Madeleine islands, site of an offshore national park popular with tourists who travel from Dakar, coastal capital of the West African country.
Senegalese President Mack Sall appealed for “greater caution and respect for existing security norms duing the rainy season” in a tweet.
Emergency services continued to look for those missing on Tuesday. AFP journalists saw a dozen divers at the scene.
Distressed families were waiting on the shore to get news of their loved ones.
“The gendarmerie called us at 5:00 am (GMT and local time). My brother was on the boat. The worst thing is not knowing,” said Aminata Diop, who was among the relatives on the beach.