updated 8/5/2007 12:36:38 AM ET 2007-08-05T04:36:38

The death toll from the capsizing of an overloaded boat in rough seas off Sierra Leone's northern coast increased to 10, with 45 other passengers missing and feared dead, a naval commander said Saturday.

Lt. Cmdr. Mohammed Mansaray of the Sierra Leone navy said 72 people were aboard the vessel when it overturned Thursday near the mouth of the Little Scarcies River at Bailo Point along this West African nation's Atlantic Ocean coast. He said many died because no lifejackets were aboard the boat.

Local fishermen and navy search teams rescued 17 survivors and recovered 10 corpses by Friday, Mansaray said. The remaining 45 passengers were missing and feared dead, he said.

"After 72 hours, we do not believe there will be any more survivors," Mansaray said. "We have asked the local fishermen to deploy their fishing chains to recover any more dead bodies."

On Friday, Mansaray had put the toll at two dead.

Among the survivors were the boat's captain, he said.

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