A tragic incident has occurred off the coast of Yemen, as 11 women and three children lost their lives after a boat sank in the Hodeidah province. The Houthi-run Saba news agency reported that the vessel was carrying 25 people when it capsized late on Monday due to high winds and waves. According to sources at the Fisheries Authority, the boat sank between the coastal area of Khoba and Kamaran Island, where the group was heading to a relative’s wedding party. The incident marks the latest maritime tragedy off Yemen’s shores, which have mostly involved African migrants fleeing war and poverty in their home countries.
Since Yemen descended into civil war in 2014, the Saudi-led coalition has intervened to restore the internationally-recognized government to power. At least 16 Yemenis, including 11 women and three children, have lost their lives in two separate boat incidents off Yemen’s western shores. On Wednesday, two Yemeni fishermen died, and two others were rescued when their boat sank in high winds off Khokha. This came after a boat carrying at least 25 people, believed to be overloaded, sank on Monday afternoon near Kamaran Island, resulting in at least 14 deaths.
The boat involved in the Monday tragedy was ferrying passengers from the coastal village of Khuba in the western province of Hodeidah to a wedding on Kamaran when it capsized due to a strong gust of wind. A Khuba resident, who wished to remain anonymous, stated that only the men who could swim survived, while all the women and three children lost their lives.
The locals received news that the boat had gone missing five hours after it had left, and they immediately raised the alarm. The journey from Khuba to Kamaran typically takes an hour-and-a-half, and such a tragedy has not occurred since the 1980s, according to the resident. Local coastguards and fishermen recovered bodies from the sea early on Tuesday morning, and a statement by the Houthi authorities, who control the island and Khuba, confirmed that 11 women and three children were discovered dead in the water on Tuesday, while 11 others, including a toddler, were saved.
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