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13 Dead in Sinking of Boat Carrying Migrants from Morocco to Spain - 2001-09-09

At least 13 people are known dead and as many as 47 others may have perished when a fishing boat sank off the coast of Morocco. The boat was loaded with Moroccans attempting to enter Spain illegally.

The only known survivor of a sunken fishing vessel told Moroccan police the boat was filled with as many as 60 people trying to illegally migrate to Spain.

The boat sank Saturday near the Moroccan coastal city of Kenitra (Ke-netra), about 25 miles north of the capital, Rabat.

Bodies began washing up on shore late Saturday, along with debris from the sunken vessel that had set sail earlier in the day.

Also Saturday, the Moroccan navy said it intercepted a dinghy near Gibraltar filled with 39 Moroccans headed to Spain.

The number of people attempting to cross from Morocco into Spain has been steadily increasing. Tens of thousands attempt to make the crossing each year.

The problem has prompted the two countries to hold talks on how to handle the issue of illegal migration.

Stepped-up patrols along the coast have caused would-be migrants to attempt more treacherous routes in deeper waters.

Spain wants Morocco to do more to curtail the number of people who set sail for Spain with the idea of illegally entering Europe by sea.