At least 58 people were killed this week when a boat carrying dozens of migrants sank in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Mauritania, the International Organization for Migration said Thursday.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said 83 survivors swam to the shore after Wednesday's sinking and were being assisted by its officials in the northern city of Nouadhibou.
Survivors told IOM that more than 150 passengers, including women and children, were aboard the vessel that departed from Gambia on November 27. The boat was running low on fuel before it sank as it approached the Mauritania coast, IOM said, citing survivors.
An unspecified number of injured people were taken to a hospital, and others are being helped by authorities in Mauritania and officials representing the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, according to IOM.
"The Mauritanian authorities are very efficiently coordinating the response with the agencies currently present in Nouadhibou," IOM Mauritania Chief of Mission Laura Lungarotti said in a news release.
"Our common priority is to take care of all those who survived and bring them the support they need."
The boat was headed for Spain's Canary Islands off Africa's northwest coast, IOM said.
Thousands of migrants from West Africa take on perilous crossings on the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe in search of jobs and opportunities every year.