By The Associated Press
GENEVA — The U.N. refugee agency says 15 Somalis have drowned in the Gulf of Aden after fellow passengers say a passing naval ship ignored their calls for help.
A spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said Friday the boat carrying 45 Somali refugees sank off the coast of Yemen Wednesday.
Andrej Mahecic says 25 people survived and five are still missing.
He says survivors claim the unidentified ship approached their rickety boat during the three day voyage but ignored their cries.
Mahecic says the UNHCR is calling on boat captains in the pirate and shark-infested gulf to "uphold the longstanding tradition of rescue at sea and helping vessels in distress."
The refugees, from the semiautonomous region of Puntland in northeast Somalia, were trying to get to Yemen.