The ferry MV Spice Islander capsized and sank three hours after leaving the island of Unguja (Zanzibar), Tanzania bound for Pemba island. Witnesses stated the ferry was overloaded with passengers and reports state there were at least 800 people on board. Initial search and recovery teams have rescued 620 survivors many who were holding onto anything that could float. However, 187 have perished and authorities expect the death toll to rise. Tanzanian authorities have requested assistance from other countries while private aircraft and boats are assisting in the rescue and recovery efforts.
The 836 ton ro-ro ferry MV Spice Islander was built in 1967. The ferry sailed as the Marianna from 1967 to 1989. The ferry was sold and sailed as the Apostolos P. until 2007.
- Many missing in Zanzibar disaster (bbc.co.uk)
- Hundreds missing after ferry capsizes near Zanzibar (cnn.com)
- Hundreds feared dead as ferry capsizes off Tanzania (msnbc.msn.com)
- VIDEO: ‘Survivors clung on to whatever they could’ (bbc.co.uk)