Photo: wikipedia commons
The heavily overloaded MV Spice Islander sank off the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar killing at least 163 people and leaving more than 100 others as yet unaccounted for.According to the BBC, the ferry had been travelling between Unguja and Pemba, two very popular tourist destinations, bringing people back from post-Ramadan holiday.
Local rescue officials are overwhelmed and asking for international help. Survivors are being ferried by privately owned boats back to the mainland while rescuers continue their search in the rough seas.
Bodies continue to wash up on shore, so the death toll is expected to rise, as relatives wait for names of the dead to be released.
Local helicopter pilot Neels van Ejik told the BBC:
“We found the survivors holding onto mattresses and fridges and anything that could float. It’s hard to tell the exact numbers, but I’d say there were more than 200 survivors in the water and some bodies too,” he told the BBC.
“By then, there were a few boats that had made their way out. They were looking for survivors, but although the sea wasn’t so rough, the waves were high so it was difficult for them to spot them.
The ferry was so overloaded when it left the Unguja dock that many passengers refused to board as a result.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.