08 March 2023

14 women and children drowned in shipwreck off Yemen

08 March 2023

At least 14 women and children died in a shipwreck off Yemen’s Red Sea coast earlier this week, authorities said on Wednesday.

The boat, with more than two dozen people on board, sank off the province of Hodeida, according to a statement by the Fisheries Authority in Hodeida, run by the country’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

The tragedy happened late on Monday, the statement said.

Eleven women and three children drowned while 11 people, including a child, survived.

The group was heading to a relative’s wedding party on Kamaran Island when their boat ran into trouble because of high winds and waves.

Authorities dispatched coast guard vessels to search for the bodies in a channel between Kamaran and the province’s district of Luhiya, the statement added.

It was the latest maritime tragedy off Yemen’s shores. Most previous shipwrecks in the region involved African migrants fleeing wars and poverty in their home countries.

The migrants risk perilous voyages from Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia to Yemen and on to richer Gulf Arab countries in search of work.

Yemen descended into civil war in 2014, when the rebel Houthis descended from their northern stronghold and seized the capital, Sanaa, along with much of the country’s north.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015 to try and restore the internationally recognized government to power.

The conflict has spawned one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises and pushed impoverished Yemen to the brink of famine.

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