Saturday, July 13, 2024

Search continues for Moroccan footballers who went missing at sea: Club President

However, three others were rescued by emergency services.

• July 8, 2024
Abdellatif Akhrif and Salman El-Harrak and others before the incident
Abdellatif Akhrif and Salman El-Harrak and others before the incident [Credit; Sada Elbalad english]

Search continues in Morocco for two Ittihad Tanger players Abdellatif Akhrif and Salman El-Harrak who went missing during a yacht excursion off the country’s northern Mediterranean coast on Saturday.

“Search for the missing players is still ongoing,” Ittihad Tanger president Mohamed Cherkaoui said.

According to the BBC, three staff members of the Moroccan club had rented a yacht for an excursion from the beach resort of M’diq – north of the city of Tetouan when heavy winds displaced them from their boat. 

After several hours out at sea, the trio of Oussama Aflah, Soumaimane Dahdouh and Abdelhamid Maali, a Morocco Under-20 international, were rescued by emergency services but 24-year-old Akhrif and 18-year-old El-Harrak are still missing.

Speaking to local media about the Saturday incident, Aflah, who is a club employee, said, “Everything was normal – we woke up, had breakfast and rented a boat from the marina.”

“On our way out to sea, we were even stopped by the coast guard who made sure our papers were in order and that we had life jackets,” he noted.

“Everything was fine and we were swimming within sight of the shore and just a few metres from the boat before the sea completely changed and heavy winds took us away from the boat.”

Meanwhile, the club’s deputy president Anass Mrabet told Reuters the men were not wearing life jackets when they went swimming,” the BBC reported.

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