Three die in Cameroon ship capsize, scores saved

The accident took place overnight Sunday.
The accident took place overnight Sunday.
Image: 123RF/Siam Pukkato

At least three people died and scores were rescued after a ferry capsized off the coast of Cameroon this week, according to state radio and a security official.

"One hundred and seven survivors were pulled out of the water as well as three corpses... the search is still under way," Cameroon Radio Television reported late Monday.

The accident took place overnight Sunday/Monday and survivors were taken to nearby Limbe, a town on the Atlantic Ocean coast in southwestern Cameroon, the state broadcaster said.

It said they were of Cameroonian, Nigerian and French nationality.

A state radio claim that 40 were said to be missing was not confirmed by other sources.

However, a security official in the Limbe region who asked not to be named confirmed the death toll of three with 107 survivors.

A Facebook page used by people close to the armed forces said that almost 200 people were on board and published photographs of the overturned vessel.

"Salvage operations are continuing, since several bodies are trapped inside the boat," the site said.

The Journal du Cameroun newspaper said soldiers from the elite Rapid Intervention Battalion were among the rescue workers, along with the navy.

Contacted by AFP, a military spokesman did not respond immediately.

The ship, named Austrheim, had sailed from Calabar in neighbouring Nigeria and was due to dock at the major port of Tiko in southwestern Cameroon, media reports said.