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People smugglers keep trying to recruit this boat captain. He keeps refusing

Pape Dieye in Guet N'dar, Senegal on October 7.
Ricci Shryock for NPR
Pape Dieye in Guet N'dar, Senegal on October 7.

Years of captaining a boat on the Atlantic Ocean have shaped Pape Dieye's calm and reassuring presence.

He is unafraid of aggressive, mountain-like waves. He doesn't need GPS. He can steer a boat in the dark of the night using nothing but the moon and the stars. He can tell how deep the water is simply by its color.

His experience has turned him into a highly sought after captain in Senegal's underground business of taking migrants to Europe by boat.


Many people have begged him, but he tells NPR why he always refuses.

Listen to our full report by clicking or tapping the play button above.

Mallika Seshadri contributed to this report. contributed to this story


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