The International Organisation for Migration has said that 58 persons died attempting to enter Europe through the Canary Islands route.
The sea-unworthy vessel was said to have been crowded by about 150 persons when it ran out of fuel off the Mauritanian Coast.
According to reports, 83 persons swam to shore where they were discovered by the Mauritanian military police.
The survivors said the vessel left the West African coastal country of Gambia on November 27.
“It speaks really to the callousness of the smugglers who of course have made their money and disappeared into the wilderness.
“That’s the problem here, people are being exploited, people are looking for a better life,” IOM’s Leonard Doyle told Al Jazeera.
This route has not been a preferred passage for boats trying to smuggle desperate Africans into Europe since Spain began policing it in the mid 2000’s.
The IOM however, notes that the route is dangerous, meaning many vessels never make it and are never found.
IOM said the survivors are likely to be returned home to their country, thwarting their dream of reaching Europe.
“We can imagine that they’re deeply traumatised. People will need some medical care and our staff will need to establish their origin and try to help them return in the most dignified way as possible.
“The tragedy in all this is there is no happy solution for people who take these routes.
“Once things like this happen, they eventually end up back where they started. The only winner is the smuggler,” Doyle added.