Total Dead Reaches 23 Following Yesterday’s Capsize in Bay of Bengal as More Tragic Details Emerge

Cox’s Bazar – IOM, the UN Migration Agency has learned further details following yesterday’s report (28/09) that Rohingya refugees died when the boat they were using to reach safety in Bangladesh capsized in the Bay of Bengal’s rough seas.

IOM’s local field team immediately traveled to the scene to assist survivors and assess any further response needed. Today (29/09), they report that, having checked with police and the owner of a grocery shop located close to where the incident occurred, the total confirmed dead is now 23. In addition to the remains of 15 people recovered yesterday, eight more bodies were recovered this morning from two locations. Six bodies were recovered where the boat capsized and two bodies washed up in front of the Sea Pearl Hotel a small distance down the shore.  Among the newly confirmed dead this morning were two women aged 35 and 49, as well six young children.

IOM is working to address the needs of the survivors. Confirmed by Government officials, the number of survivors remains 17 as reported yesterday (28/09). From the ten survivors admitted to hospital yesterday, six have been released so far. They have joined the other seven survivors and are all in the process of being moved to Kutupalong, a refugee camp. Of those released from hospital, four were men and two were children.

One of the four men released from hospital spoke with IOM and said that he and some others counted the number of people on board the boat. According this survivor, there were 24 men and boys aged between ten and 35 years old on board. Boys over ten years old were going to be charged the same fare as men, whereas anyone under the age of ten would not be charged. He counted a total of 80 people on board, which differs from the 100 reported to IOM yesterday. Of the 80, he said, at least six were adult women and 50 were children. Many of the children were not travelling with their parents. Based on this updated report, the total missing is now 40. The survivor who recounted this information to IOM lost four family members on board the boat - his whole family – his 22-year-old wife, his eight year old son and twin boys, aged 3 months.

To find out more details on this incident, please read our report from yesterday here.

For more information, please contact:

Hala Jaber in Cox’s Bazar, Tel: +8801733335221, Email:

Peppi Siddiq in Dhaka, Tel: +8801755568894, Email: