Search mounted for three who went missing at sea in Lamu

Rescuers search for bodies after boat capsized in Lamu in June,2017.A search for fishermen who went missing after their boat capsized last week has been called off PHOTO: FILE.

Lamu, KENYA: The Kenya Maritime Authority-KMA in Lamu has mounted a search and possible rescue mission for three fishermen who went missing at sea on Monday morning at Ngoi area close to Mlango wa Kipungani.

The three fishermen are Madi Issa, Bunu Ali and Omar Issa all of whom hail from Shanga island in Lamu east.

They are said to have gone missing in their boat christened Dhabiti after they failed to report back on Monday evening.

The three were reported missing by family and friends on Tuesday morning after they failed to report to the Tenewi fishing depot on Monday evening where they were expected to deliver the day’s catch as is the norm.

While confirming the incident, Lamu KMA Rescue Coordinator Jacob Odanga said a search and rescue team together with a team of marine police officers had already been dispatched to the area where the three were last seen.

“We received reports from family members last evening that the three fishermen had gone missing and even efforts by the family members to contact them had proved futile since their phones are off. We sent our team this morning together with four marine police officers and the family members to Ngoi area in Kipungani where the three are said to have gone fishing. Search has already been mounted and I will give details later,” said Odanga.

Incidents of people going missing at sea are not new to Lamu with the worst being on August 13 last year when Lamu ODM politician Shekue Kahale lost 12 of his family members that included his four children and his wife.

They had been reported missing at sea a day before when they failed to arrive at Lamu island from Kizingitini.

Their boat had unfortunately capsized at Manda Bruno area known for its gigantic waves leading to the death of the 12 while the politician survived after hours of swimming.

On June 20 last year, 10 people perished when a dhow that had aboard 25 passengers and their luggage capsized at the Mkanda Channel in the Indian Ocean while traveling from Lamu to Ndau village in Lamu East owing to rough tides at sea at the time.

On October 9 last year, four people who had been reported missing at sea were found alive by search team mounted by Red Cross and KMA.

They had spent a night on the Indian Ocean after their boat was overpowered by rough tides normally experienced at the Manda Bruno area and swept away to Dodori area where they were later found.