3 Dead After Boat Capsizes in Indian Ocean

  • Boat that capsized in Lake Victoria in May 2019
    Boat that capsized in Lake Victoria in May 2019
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  • Three fishermen have drowned after their boat capsized in the Indian Ocean along the coastline of Mpeketoni in Lamu County. Two fishermen survived the ordeal as law enforcement officers continue to search for bodies.

    According to Lamu County Coast Guard, the boat was hit by sturdy tidal waves on Sunday, August 15 at 12:00 a.m.Two of the sailors swam for about 3 hours to the Mpeketoni seashore to seek help.

    Rescue operations involving the Lamu County government disaster management team, The Kenya Coast Guard, the Kenya Navy, the Kenya Red Cross Society and local fishermen are underway.

    A search and rescue team in the Indian Ocean in 2019
    A search and rescue team in the Indian Ocean in 2019
    File

    “Following the distress call we joined the two frightened fishermen to where their boat with the other three colleagues was stuck, however, on reaching the destination neither the boat nor the fishermen were there,” explained an official from the Coast Guard.

    The five proceeded to fish in the Indian Ocean on the evening of Saturday, August 14. They had arrived from Ngomeni in Malindi, Kilifi County. They temporarily settled at Mpeketoni in Lamu where they indulged in fishing activities for several months.

    The coast guard reported strong winds in Indian Ocean waters along Lamu. The authority moved to issue warnings of hazards. Operators were instructed to exercise caution when navigating the waters.

    “We should not ignore any alert from the Meteorological department since the current situation in the Indian Ocean is truly unpredictable,” urged Mr Munga of the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA).

    Naval agencies, including the Kenya Maritime Authority, have urged fishermen and other boat operators to avoid reckless operations.

    In May 2021, the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) kicked off the long-awaited compensation process for economically disenfranchised fishermen in Lamu.

    Ksh1.7 billion was devoted towards compensating 4,734 fishermen who were disenfranchised during the construction of the first three berths of the Port of Lamu.

    According to KPA, it was only right that the plans for compensation were concluded. This was after the Lamu fishing community filed a petition in court challenging the environmental impact caused by the construction of the port.  

    KPA’s then acting managing director Rashid Salim the agency proposed to have 65 per cent of the compensation remitted in cash and 35 per cent in form of equipment.

    However, this agreement was vehemently turned down by Lamu’s fishermen who sought 100 per cent cash instead.

    Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) Director-General George Okong’o addressing the press.
    Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) Director-General George Okong’o addressing the press.
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