Seven escape death narrowly after boat capsizes in Lamu

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

Seven people escaped death narrowly on Monday after the boat they were travelling in capsized in Phendali,Lamu west sub-county.

According to eye witnesses, the boat christened Usonga  which had left Shanga division capsized at around 10.00 am on Monday.

According to a distress signal seen by Baraka FM, the boat was being skippered by Captain Ali Abdalla.

“Seven men rescued by Kenya Redcross Team, Kenya Maritime Authority and Marine Police after their boat capsized in Shanga, Lamu county” The Kenya Redcross Society said in a statement on Monday.

This comes less than two days after the Kenya Meteorological department said that strong winds would be experienced in several counties in Kenya with 4 of those counties being those bordering the Indian Ocean.

The statement issued on Friday had warned that the winds which would be blowing at an average speed of 20 m/s would cause large waves some as large as three metres high on the Indian Ocean.

“Very high waves may lower visibility, cause capsizing of boats and threaten the safety of those engaging in water sports and recreational activities” The department said.

The heavy winds which are expected to subside on Wednesday persisted for the better part of Monday in Mombasa county.

Lamu County whose public transport system is majorly consisted of boats has had its own share of marine accidents.

In August 2017, ODM politician Shekue Kahale lost 11 of his family members after the boat they had been travelling in capsized at Manda Bruno area.

Kahale who survived the accident was heading to catch a flight to Mombasa together with his family.

In June 2018, three fishermen disappeared after the boat they were traveling in capsized in Ndau village in Lamu.

Two months later, the Kenya Maritime Authority cautioned boat owners in the county to navigate carefully after a pontoon detached from the Mtagwanda jetty and disappeared into the Indian Ocean.