Americans rescued from Senegal island

A picture dated 23 January 2001 shows the island of Goree, off the coast of Dakar, a place of pilgrimage for thousands of tourists, since becoming known as one of the chief bases of the trade in slaves between West Africa and the European colonies in the Americas in the 17th 18th and 19th centuries.

A dozen Americans were rescued by helicopter after being stranded overnight in their swimwear on an island off the Senegalese capital, Dakar.

Rough seas left the 12 men and women stranded overnight after the wooden fishing boat that brought them to Ile de la Madeleine was unable to make the 2.5-mile crossing back to the mainland.

The skipper of a second fishing boat who made a rescue attempt was knocked unconscious when his boat capsized in the surging waves.

After spending the night in just their swimming gear and towels on the uninhabited rocky speck of an island renowned as the world’s smallest national park and a candidate for UNESCO listing as a World Heritage Site, the group was picked up by a Senegal Air Force chopper.

The stranded reportedly included four women and a group from the United States Embassy.