Barbados Death Boat – Senegal Connection – Global Voices Photos


Barbados Free Press previously covered the story of the eleven dead men found in a boat floating off Barbados. This week, Global Voices picks up on the Senegal connection – and connects with a heart-wrenching multi-media presentation at


Here is the link to the Seneweb photo presentation about the plight of migrants who flee Senegal by the thousands – and then die trying to reach a better life.

God bless them all…. and I am so grateful that I was born on Barbados.

Seneweb invites us to the harshness of these images which show the reality of the suffering of our brothers plopped like cattle in makeshift rafts, decided, determined to flee poverty for Europe and its enlightenment. The images presented to us by the online newssite Seneweb are living testimony of the tragedy unfolding before our eyes. Let’s hope that they contribute to the awakening of consciences, to populations demanding better governance, better management of public affairs, so that our politicians work for the peoples who’ve elected them.

Translated from Senegalese blogger Seckasystemeblog

Story Links

Global Voices: Senegal: Conversations on Drowned Migrants

Seneweb: Senegal Migrant Photo Presentation (WARNING GRAPHIC)

Seckasystemeblog (Story In French)

UPDATE: Excellent New (May 30, 2006) BBC article here. According to the article, authorities believe there were 50 people on board the boat and that it was deliberately cast adrift by a Spaniard who is now being sought by Interpol. 

Barbados Free Press – Death Boat Previous Stories…

May 2, 2006 – Death Boat Arrives In Barbados

May 8, 2006 – Barbados Death Boat Was Headed Senegal To Cape Verde Islands

May 15, 2006 – Barbados Death Boat May Have Held 37 People


Filed under Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Island Life

10 responses to “Barbados Death Boat – Senegal Connection – Global Voices Photos

  1. stefanie

    I have been reading this tragic story. Please – can anyone tell me whether the drowned migrants were identified, and if their families were ever told what had happened to them?

  2. Anonymous

    They were identified. They did not drown, they starved.

    There was an investigation.

    I read that the boat captain who was responsibe for setting them adrift, after towing them out to sea, was also identified.

  3. stefanie

    Thank you so much for your reply.

    Can you tell me any more about the investigation?

    Can you also tell me how they were identified? Did their families come forward? Was this the work of the police?

    I am very interested in how migrnts who die on their journeys can be identified – so their families know what happened. And this is teh reason for my questions.

    Thank you in advance.

  4. stefanie

    Thank you for your help.

  5. Anonymous

    The link provided seems to be broken but this is what it said:-

    Spain hunts trafficker blamed for death of Africans found adrift off Barbados
    Wednesday, June 7, 2006

    MADRID, Spain (AFP): Spanish police have launched an international manhunt for a human trafficker who left 47 African migrants on his boat to slowly starve to death as they drifted across the Atlantic Ocean towards the Caribbean island of Barbados, a Spanish daily reported Tuesday.

    The would-be migrants departed from Cape Verde in December after paying 1200 to 1500 euros (1500 to 1900 dollars) each, but never made it to their intended destination, the Spanish Canary Islands off coast of northwestern Africa, El Pais said.

    Instead, they drifted helplessly after their vessel broke down.

    It was found four months later near Barbados, with only 11 cadavers left on board. The others passengers had apparently been thrown overboard as they died.

    Because the yacht returned to shore briefly before resuming its fateful voyage, six passengers who opted out of the trip have provided police with detailed physical descriptions of the men who organized the smuggling operation, including the boat owner.

    Spanish police, who know the owner’s identity, have mobilized units in Ibiza, Barcelona, Madrid and Las Palmas in the Canaries to track the culprits. Interpol is also working on the case, the daily said.

    One of the survivors, identified simply as Leon, told the newspaper that he and 52 other Africans hoping to be smuggled onto European soil boarded the vessel on December 24 at Puerto de Praia in Cape Verde.

    “On the dock, there were three white men in charge of the boat. One was the owner…. They spoke Spanish amongst themselves and none knew Portuguese or French,” Leon said.

    The traffickers assured their clients that they would be in the Canaries within three days, and that there was enough gas on board for nine.

    Leon and five other passengers, in a decision that was to save their lives, abandoned the boat after it returned temporarily to shore after engine problems.

  6. stefanie

    Thank you again.

    I wonder, do you know if the bodies were retunred to Senegal, or if they remained in Barbados, and whether attempts are still being made to establish the identities the ten who remained unknown? Was the ship owner ever arrested?

    I send you good wishes,

  7. passin thru

    Barbados Death Boat Arrest

    This story also has links to other same subject stories –