Seven Comoros nationals reportedly died while eight others were rescued by Kenya Navy officers off the Watamu beaches Monday afternoon. This was after their vessel developed mechanical problems in the high seas.
Reports indicate that the members of one family suffered a 22-day ordeal in the Indian Ocean. This was following their boat engine failure hence the vessel was being tossed about in the sea.
Fishermen spotted the Comoros nationals’ boat
Kenyan fishermen spotted the foreigners’ small boat floating with the lives of those aboard precariously in danger. They immediately alerted Kenya Navy soldiers who rushed to the aliens’ rescue.
The soldiers took the eight survivors and rushed them to a dispensary in Watamu. Thereafter, they took the Comoros nationals to the Malindi Sub County Hospital. Fortunately, they were attended to by a team of doctors from the KDF and health personnel at the health facility.
The hospital administration set aside a room for the survivors to be treated. This is after it turned out that the Comoros nationals had not eaten for about three weeks. One survivor said that they only depended on water.
Watamu locals donated clothes to cover the half-naked survivors. In addition, they also provided them with water as they had been severely dehydrated and could barely talk. Fortunately, one was able to talk in his native language and a little French. However, a translator had to be sought to assist.
Journalists found KDF officers busy attending to the critically ill and fatigued foreigners. The survivors looked frail and exhausted. They were fed with water and milk as the KDF medical team treated them.
The nationals were sailing from Ndzuwani to Mayotte Island
He added that while on their journey in the high seas, the vessel’s engine developed mechanical problems. However, while they were sorting out the matter, a strong wave hit it, thus complicating the situation.
A report from the Kenya Coast Guards indicated they received the message through the Watamu Beach Management Unit Chairman Mwabire concerning the incident.
The boat had no engine
According to the report, Mwambire told the KCG officials that at about 8.00 am Monday, he received a report from fishermen who had come across a floating boat without an engine and that the boat had eight occupants.
The KCG report filed by Senior Sergeant Duncan Achiki to the Headquarters said the boat was towed to the Watamu MBU. The boat had eight unconscious passengers. They were rushed to the Malindi Sub County Hospital.
“It was established that the boat was transporting 15 family members from one Island to another at Comoros Islands. Unfortunately, it was swept by strong winds. The engine dropped into the sea and they were swept to the Kenyan waters. In the process, seven passengers died and they were thrown into the sea. Fortunately, only eight male persons survived,” said the report.
While speaking to journalists at the hospital, Mr. Nassir Abubakar Ali, a resident of Majengo in Malindi town, said he had been contacted by the Kenya Navy soldiers to provide translation services as the rescued Comoros could only communicate in their native language.
“During my discourse with them, I established that seven Comoros died in the sea after the vessel got lost after it was hit by the strong waves,” he said. According to the translator, the victims who died while aboard the boat were thrown into the sea to reduce the weight.
Medical personnel from Malindi Sub County hospital are expected to brief the media later Tuesday about the progress of the rescued Comoros sailors and how they are responding to treatment.