Remembering Africa’s worst maritime tragedy


Twenty years ago today, on September 26, 2002, the Senegalese ferry Le Joola sank with the loss of an estimated 1,863 lives.  That means it cost more lives than the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.  Only 64 survivors were found.

That makes it the second-worst non-military maritime disaster in history, surpassed only by the sinking of the Philippine ferry Doña Paz in 1987.

The BBC made a documentary about the Le Joola disaster.  This seems like a fitting occasion to link to it, in remembrance of those who died.

May their sins be forgiven them, and may their souls rest in peace.



  1. What a crap video. It's become obvious over the years that reporters and news services can no longer tell us the who, what when, where, of the story and so we get crap like this.

  2. It was a tragedy. A staggering tragedy. I had to look it up to read a comprehensive and factual account. Whoever put that video together needs a course on how one generates news and puts emotion behind it.
    When it comes to sea stories I put some of my own experience in it. At 173 feet long, 35 wide with 110 men onboard it felt a little crowded. I cannot imagine 2000 people on a ship not much bigger. Well, I can actually.
    It's good that all the officers drowned because otherwise one could hold them up and ask questions such as, "just what the fuck were you thinking when you embarked 4 times the number of passengers that was safe?"
    It's Africa. No one ever gets asked hard questions there.

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