History was made on Wednesday, August 12, as the Port of Mombasa witnessed its first-ever ship crew change when seven crew members arrived into the country after being stranded t sea for six months.
Of the seven crew member, six were Kenyan with one Zimbabwean national also part of the crew change that happened four nautical miles from Mombasa.
The seven were aboard MS Westerdam Luxury Cruise Liner owned by Holland American Line which made headlines at the start of the pandemic after being stranded.An image of MS Westerdam leaving Mombasa on Wednesday, August 12.YouTube
The cruise ship that arrived in Mombasa was en route to Durban, South Africa from Port Kelang, Malaysia on a mission to drop off its crew who were stranded at sea for more than six months.
Five countries turned the ship away for fear of Covid-19 despite none of its crew testing positive for the deadly virus.
The vessel left Hong Kong on Saturday, February 1, to Taiwan and Japan, a journey that would take 14 days but turned into months.
One of the officials of MS Westerdam noted the breakthrough for the seven crew members came when the country made it possible for crew change to happen.
"Our crew have been on board for more than six months and they were felt like returning home, crew change was not possible because of lack of flights.
"But when we started crew change on August 2, that was a huge boost as the whole world knew it was possible," noted the official.
The Port of Mombasa was delighted to welcome back the crew members at the newly-built cruise terminal.
"We have over 400 crew who are Kenyans aboard vessels all over the world, and we believe this can grow especially now that our cruise terminal is now ready for use," noted a port official.
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