At least 70 Ethiopians drowned on the Red Sea Saturday when a migrant boat, bound for Yemen, capsized in rough weather, adding to what was already a record year for maritime smuggling deaths.
Heavy winds and waves battered the vessel before it sank off the port of al-Makha in Taiz province, Yemeni security officials announced Sunday.
In October, the U.N. Refugee Agency declared 2014 the most dangerous in recent memory for migrants trying to reach Yemen by water.
Saturday’s sinking marks the deadliest crossing of the year and brings the death toll at sea to at least 285.
Tens of thousands of African migrants risk the overcrowded and unsafe voyage annually.