MV Le Joola: Catastrophe At Sea

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MV Le Joola

Accident type : Wrecked
Vessel involved : MV Le Joola
Location : Coast of Gambia
Date : September 26, 2002
Casualties : 1,863 deaths

VESSEL INFO:

Name : MV Le Joola
Built  : 1990
Class & type : Roll-on/roll-off ferry
Tonnage : 2087 gross
Length : 79.5 meters
Beam : 12 meters

MV Le Joola was a Senegalese government-owned ferry.  It was constructed in Germany and was put to sea in 1990.

On September 26, 2002, the ferry Joola set sail from Casamance to Dakar.  At the time of voyage the ship was designed to carry approximately 580 passengers.  In all, almost 2,000 passengers are believed to have been on board.

At around 11 p.m., the ship sailed into a storm off the coast of Gambia.  As a result of the rough seas and wind, the ferry quickly capsized, throwing passengers and cargo into the sea.  Detailed reports indicate that this happened in less than five minutes.

The disaster resulted in the deaths of at least 1,863 people.  Only 64 passengers survived, including only one woman from more than 600 female passengers aboard.  It is thought to be the second-worst non-military disaster in maritime history.

Source: Wikipedia

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