At least 15 people are missing after a vessel sank off the coast of Liberia, the government and coastguard said on Sunday.
Authorities received a distress signal from a vessel named Niko Ivanka late on Saturday.
From the rescue operations that began immediately after the distress call was made, coastguards have pulled 11 people from the water, while search and rescue operations are ongoing, Liberia’s Maritime Authority Commissioner Eugene Lenn Nagbe told reporters in the capital Monrovia.
The ship left Monrovia on Saturday morning and was heading for the central port city of Buchanan when it began to take on water, the Maritime commissioner said.
The manifest showed 18 people officially registered aboard the ship, including nine crew members and nine members of a regional education body.
But Nagbe said that the vessel was not authorised to carry passengers and that it had earlier been placed “under detention orders” because it was unseaworthy.
“Our priority is the search and rescue,” he said. “We will continue to exert every effort”.