Second body recovered following Lamu boat accident

A Boat at the deadly Mkanda channel in Lamu county.The search for a fishing dhow that went missing in Mambrui area of Malindi entered its third day on Wednesday PHOTO COURTESY

Lamu, KENYA: The second body of a fisherman who drowned after their boat capsized in Manda Maweni area of Lamu town on last Friday has been retrieved.

The body of Jefwa Ngombo, 45, was recovered by marine police and local divers on Sunday.

Confirming the recovery, Lamu West OCPD Juma Londo on Monday said the body was found around the shores of the same area when the accident occurred on Friday.

That brings to two the total number of people who died after a fishing boat capsized.

The two were part of a fishing crew of five who were conducting their venture on the Indian Ocean before heavy tides toppled their vessel over, throwing all of them into the water at around 6.30pm.

Three of the fishermen were however rescued by other fishermen who witnessed the accident.

The initial body, that of Rumlas Munga,25, had been recovered on Friday, just shortly after the accident occurred.

“We have found the second body which brings to two the number of those who perished in the accident. The body had been caught up in a fishing net which we suspect made it impossible for the deceased to swim to safety,” said Londo.

Police have released the names of those who survived the accident as Safari Katana Msanzu, 36, Mwatari Karisa Kahindi, 24 and Safari Baya, 27.

Londo said the two bodies have already been transported to Kilifi and Malindi for burial.

Following the recent accident, the Lamu Fishermen and Sailors organization is calling upon the county and national governments to form a special board that will address marine disasters in the region.

Led by their spokesperson Hassan Mzee, they criticized the county government for failing to establish proper plans to address marine accidents that are become quite common in Lamu.

Hordes of fishermen and boat passengers have lost their lives.

They said it was high time for the county to have its own diving squad situated along all shores so as to promptly help whenever accidents occur.

“They must do something. It has become a song but won’t tire until they do something about it,” said Mzee.

Lamu is not new to marine accidents.

On August 13, 2017, Lamu recorded its worst ever marine accident after a boat carrying Lamu ODM politician Shekue Kahale and his entire family capsized killing 11 of its 12 occupants.

Only the politician survived the accident.

The 11 that died were the entire politician’s family including his four children, wife, his sister and her three children, his aunt and the boat captain.