The island nation’s maritime authorities reported on Monday that no less than 22 migrants died when their boat capsized over the weekend off the coast of Madagascar.
The Madagascar maritime authority APMF said in a statement that 47 people had secretly boarded a boat bound for (the French territory of) Mayotte, but the boat sank.
“Of the passengers, 23 were able to be saved. It added that the accident happened on Saturday and that search and rescue efforts were still going on for the two people who were still missing. “Twenty-two bodies were found,” the statement read.
The French territory of Mayotte is located north of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, and many migrants attempt to travel there each year.
According to French authorities, more than 6,500 people were apprehended in 2021 while attempting to enter the country illegally.
There are no reliable statistics available on the number of people who have died while attempting such crossings. Around 1,000 people were thought to be dying annually at the time, according to a French senate report that was published in the early 2000s.