Adrift on the Atlantic Ocean, the migrants from West Africa resorted to drinking seawater to quench their unbearable thirst. Then they started dying one by one.

Disposing of the bodies became a daily trial for those still alive on the brightly painted wooden fishing boat.

"I thought I would be next, that one morning, I too would be dead and in the sea," said Birane Mbaye, one of 101 men and boys who set off from a fishing village on a wild stretch of Senegal's coastline last July hoping to reach Europe.