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7 dead, 16 missing as boat capsizes in Lamu...Poleni wafiwa

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Ab-Titchaz, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    7 dead, 16 missing as boat capsizes in Lamu...Poleni wafiwa

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    MOURNING: Relatives and friends carry the body of a child who was killed in the Lamu boat tragedy. Sixteen others are missing while 25 were rescued

    More than 16 people are missing following a boat accident in Lamu on Sunday night. Seven people, including two children, are confirmed dead. Rescuers held out little hope of rescuing any more people 24 hours after the accident. The accident involved the passenger boat MV Safina which was on its way to Mokowe for the passengers to board a bus for Mombasa and another boat which was carrying a diesel consignment.

    The MV Safina, which usually carries 40 to 50 passengers with luggage, had nearly double that number aboard when it collided with the vessel carrying diesel. Eyewitnesses and survivors said the diesel carrying boat had no lights on. Twenty five of the passengers were rescued. Of these 13 were admitted to the King Fahd Hospital and 12 were treated and discharged.

    Survivors said the passenger boat was loaded to capacity with some of the passengers perched on the bow. They said the boat started sinking soon after the collision which sent passengers into a panic with many jumping into the sea. The boat only had ten life-vests and no other safety devices.

    Passenger Ali Bakari, a father of three, thanked God for saving his wife and children. Bakari said there had been an altercation between passengers and the coxswain when the passengers complained he was allowing too many people on board. "Some people were complaining about the situation. They were saying there were too many people aboard. One of the security personnel at the jetty talked to the boat operator and a few minutes later, he waved for us to leave. Little did we know that we would land into trouble," said Bakari as he comforted his seven-year-old son.

    Bakari said the boat carrying diesel had no lights on. "It came out of the darkness and the next thing we heard was a loud noise and then our boat started sinking," he said. He said some of the passengers fought to get their hands on the few life vests available. Bakari said he did not panic. "I handed one child to an officer who was in plainclothes and had somehow got a floater, gave the other child to another person and urged my son to swim to a rescue boat that had come," said Bakari, narrating how he saved his nine-year-old and one-year-old daughter and son and wife who could not swim.

    Passenger Salim Bakari (no relation to Ali Bakari), who suffered bruising in the chest caused by the impact, blamed the coxswain for overloading the boat with goods and passengers. "The conductor was collecting fare when suddenly he shouted to alert the coxswain to the approaching diesel carrying boat. But it was too late as the diesel carrying boat sideswiped our boat and a few minutes later we started sinking," he said at the hospital bed.

    Abdalla Mohamed Biraj, the regional chairman of the Kenya Red Cross, said the boat had at least 82 passengers who were expected to board two Tahmeed buses waiting at the Mokowe jetty for the journey to Mombasa. He said records from the bus company indicated that the bus had booked 82 passengers for the journey from Mokowe. Only 23 passengers who travelled to Mokowe by speedboat were able to board the buses for the journey to Mombasa.

    Most people prefer the slow but cheaper boats which charge Sh100 per person for the trip from Lamu to Mokowe. Speedboat operators charge Sh150 per person for the same journey. Residents of Lamu yesterday questioned the security personnel's decision to allow boats to operate at night without lights. They accused the Kenya Navy personnel of failing to respond quickly to the incident leaving the rescue efforts to volunteer divers from Kizingitini and other locals. The Kenya Navy has a base less than three kilometres from the Lamu jetty.

    Lamu resident Mohamed Said Ahmed expressed shock that the volunteer divers worked overnight to try and rescue the passengers and salvage their luggage without any assistance from the Navy. The Navy finally joined in the rescue effort in the afternoon. At one point Lamu deputy police chief Joseph Sigei was engaged in an exchange of words with residents angry at the failure by the local security agencies to respond quickly to emergencies.

    The residents said that if the incident had involved high-profile individuals, the government would not have spared any resources to carry out the rescue efforts. "This is happening because nobody in the government has any interest in safeguarding the security of the average Kenyan. How could the Kenya Navy just ignore this tragedy that has claimed lives," said Ahmed. But Sigei said police had been at the scene promptly providing the rescuers with lights.

    The local Red Cross office has, apart from the search and rescue efforts, established a tracing centre to record those who are missing as well as re-unite the survivors with their families and help in identifying and keeping a record of the property recovered. The Red Cross office has also established a psychosocial counselling and information desk.

    Twenty three people among them children women and men are feared dead after the boat they were travelling on collided with another one in a tragic accident at Uyoni area in Lamu. Seven including two children have already been confirmed dead while 16 others are still missing and their where about not known since the accident occurred at 8.30 pm on Sunday night.

    It is alleged that the Safina boat carrying excess passengers who were on their way to board Tahmeed buss collided with the other one because it was dark and had no lighting. Redcross officials said 25 passengers narrowly escaped death as they were rescued and rushed to the King Fahad Lamu District hospital for treatment. Thirteen are still admitted while the others were treated and discharged. Survivors of the Tragedy told journalists at the hospital that their coxswain could not even see infront well because of the excess passengers on board and had to be alerted by on3ee of his aid.

    However due to the darkness both coxswains slipped to the same direction and collided before it began sinking immediately causing panic and confusion in the boat. Ali Bakari one survivor who successfully managed to rescue his wife and three children said there had been an argument earlier at the jetty before it left over the way in which it was loaded. "Some people were complaining about the situation, then a security personnel talked to the Operator briefly and allowed them to go, little did we know that we would later land into trouble,'' he said while seated with his seven year old son.

    Bakari said the boat carrying diesel had no light and was difficult to see it due to the darkness. After the collision he said there was tension and cries from women and children who feared for their lives adding that some people scrambled to get the few life savers that did not exceed 10.
    He was accompanied by his wife, nine and one year old daughter together with the seven year old son and was heading to Mombasa after celebrating New Year. "I did not panic, just gave one child to an officer who was in plain uniform but had got a floater , the other one to another person leaving the nine year old to swim to a rescue boat that had come,'' he said. The excited father said he struggled with his wife as she did not know how to swim and managed to move to safety. Salim Bakari who sustained chest and some body injuries said it was God who saved his life as the tragedy caught him unaware.

    He however blamed the coxswain for overloading the boat as it had exceeded its capacity to carry all the passengers and goods on board. "The coxswain's aid was collecting fare when suddenly he shouted loudly to him warning him about the danger ahead, however instead of moving to the safe side he went directly to the side of the other boat and hit it, a few moments later it was sinking,'' he said at the hospital bed.

    Some of the passengers were family members and lost their loved ones in the accident. Kenya Red Cross personnel have already opened an information centre for people to get any details of their loved ones who are missing. Abdalla Mohamed Biraj the Coast Red cross Regional Chairman said the boat had over 60 passengers on board who were expected to board two Tahmeed buses to Mombasa. He said records from the company indicated that the buses were expected to carry 84 passengers.

    However only 23 who are believed to have gone using speed boats managed to go to Mombasa while the others did not make it. "Rescue mission is on divers have searched every where in vain surprisingly we have also not received any one looking for a relative so were cannot ascertain the whereabouts of the 16,'' he said. Questions have however been raised on whether security personnel could allow the boats to operate at night without lights.

    Locals blamed the Kenya navy personnel for not cooperating in the rescue mission and instead left it to volunteers. Mohamed Said Ahmed said only volunteer divers from Kizingitini who braved their way to search the bodies all night long but the Kenya navy which is merely three kilometers away had not responded to date.

    At one time Lamu Deputy Police Chief Joseph Sigei was engaged in a war of words with an angry youth who was complaining about the laxity of officers in responding to disasters particularly those involving locals. The youth said had it been a foreigner helicopters with ministers and other high profiled individuals could have rushed to the scene quickly but because it involved a local no one took it seriously. "This is very wrong we are really being undermined and disregarded how could the Kenya navy officials just ignore this tragedy that has claimed lives,'' he said.

    The Deputy OCPD however asked the youths to avoid such incitory statements saying police officers were at the scene the whole night and was the ones who provided lighting. By the time of going to press rescue mission was still on and had no shown any fruits. Some of the victims had also been taken to their respective homes for burial as per the Muslim Law.

    16 missing, seven killed in Lamu boat tragedy
     
  2. Mwali

    Mwali JF-Expert Member

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    Inna lillahi wa Inna Illahi Rajjun. Mungu alaze roho za marhemu wote mahala pema, na awape faraja wafiwa.
     
  3. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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  4. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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  5. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    Zaida Said receiving medical attention at the Kingfahd Hospital, Lamu where fifteen people were admitted after their boat capsized on Sunday evening along the Lamu-Mokowe channel in Lamu.


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    Grieving friends and relatives console each other at Kingfahd Hospital, Lamu.


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    A Police patrol boat is seen at the scene where a passenger boat MV Safina collided with a boat ferrying oil drums along the Lamu-Mokowe channel.


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  6. Mwali

    Mwali JF-Expert Member

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    Hivi nauli ya safari hiyo ni shillingi ngapi? wanaweka maisha ya watu hatarini sababu ya pesa ndogo? ukute haifiki 50 000 za Tanzania. Kama haka kabinti masikini sijui kaliponaje pale... Mungu Mkubwa!
     
  7. Askari Kanzu

    Askari Kanzu JF-Expert Member

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    Someone must be held accountable and consequently severely punished. Uzembe unatumaliza!

    RIP all the deceased.
     
  8. NGUVUMOJA

    NGUVUMOJA JF-Expert Member

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    Sisi sote ni waja wa Mwenyezi Mungu na kwake tutarejea. Pole kwa wote walifikwa na msiba. Mola awape moyo wa subira.
     
  9. Anheuser

    Anheuser JF-Expert Member

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    Angekuwa ana nia, au anaweza, kuwapa faraja wafiwa angewapa kwa kuwaepushia ajali in the first place, huyu si ni Mungu wa huruma? Sasa Mungu gani anasuburi mpatwe na janga muumie mfe, anawaangalia tu, halafu ndo tuseme aje kutoa faraja?

    Hata binadamu wa kawaida hawezi kukuona unaangamia na una uwezo wa kukurushia kamba, akasubiri uumie ufe, ndo aje msibani kutoa faraja za pole, ataitwa mnafiki katili. Mungu gani hana moral compass bora kuliko ya binadamu wa kawaida?

    Ajali hizi hazihusiki na "Mungu."
     
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