Lamu, KENYA: Details emerging on the Lamu Boat accident where ten people died while 15 were rescued at the Mkanda channel, indicate that of the 25 passengers aboard the boat, only one passenger had a life jacket on.
Among those who died is a secondary school student at Wiyoni in Lamu island.
Reports indicate that of the 25 passengers on the boat,only one had their life jacket on.
The life jacket is important for sea farers as it enables one to remain afloat instead of sinking whenever an accident occurs at sea.
According to Lamu East sub county administrator Shee Kupi, who also led the rescue team,the passenger who had a life jacket on was among those who survived.
A KMA officer who commented anonymously on the matter said many people died solely because they had no life jackets on.
Lamu county commissioner Joseph Kanyiri said he was positive that many would have survived if they had their life jackets on.
“We have been singing telling people not to overload.We have been telling people to wear life jackets while at sea.Its still a problem as many don’t like wearing them but we will soon launch a crackdown and we shall arrest you for endangering your own life,”said Kanyiri.
Locals are now demanding for swimming lessons to be introduced to both coxswains and sailors to enable them save themselves during accidents that happen at sea.
Lamu County government has also extended an olive branch to families of the deceased, by issuing an unspecified amount of monetary assistance to help with burial arrangements.
The boat which was heading to Ndau from Lamu town is said to have also been overloaded with 50 bags of cement,passengers and luggage before it encountered rough tides at sea and capsized killing 10.
“There is a woman who lost her two young children,while another man lost two sons,”said a witness.
There was sadness and grief in Ndau village as the bodies of the deceased were brought in for burial on Wednesday morning.
All the 10 will be buried together at the Ndau cemetery in Lamu east later in the day.
READ MORE: 10 reported dead as Boat capsizes in Lamu