Antananarivo, 24 December 2021 (TDI): Japanese Ambassador to Madagascar, Higuchi Yoshihiro, sent his condolences and that of the Republic of Japan to the bereaved families of the victims of the Francia shipwreck. In a Tweet, he expressed the heartfelt condolences of Japan to the grieving Malagasy families.

Accident of Francia: Shipwreck

On Monday, 20th December 2021, Francia, a cargo ship with a hundred and thirty passengers left the village of Antanambe in the early hours of Monday for Soanierana-Ivongo.

Soanierana-Ivongo is about 100km to the South. The village of Antanambe is in the eastern Mananara North district, Magdascar. Unfortunately, the boat did not arrive at its destination as the boat sank.

According to investigations by Adrien Fabrice Ratsimbazafy, the representative of the River and Maritime Port Agency (APMF), the vessel had a technical problem. Jean Edmond Randrianantenaina, Director-General of the Maritime and River Port Agency said that water entered the engine room.

The water according to him started to rise and swallowed up all the engines. As a result, the ship began to sink. In addition, he pointed out that Antanambe is not an official port, therefore it doesn’t have all the facilities.

Further, he said that the Francia ship was registered as a cargo ship. As such, the ship was not authorized to carry passengers/people. Rather, it was approved to carry only goods.

The exact time the water started to rise is not known but interventions by the Maritime and River Port Agency began around 9 a.m. According to a report from the Maritime and River Port Agency, at least 45 people have been rescued from the waters of the Indian Ocean.

It was noted that the shipwreck death toll rose to 85 people. The same source said that 50 people have been rescued after the boat sank with 138 people on board.

President Andry Rajoelina of Madagascar offered his condolences and those of the nation to the bereaved Malagasy families. On 23rd December 2021, he announced a national mourning day for the country.