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Two crew missing after overloaded boat capsizes off the coast of Lamu Island

By MAARUFU MOHAMED | May 8th 2016 | 2 min read

At least two crew members were reported missing after a boat capsized off the coast of Lamu Island.

The boat was swept away by strong currents for several kilometres in the Indian Ocean after it had emptied its cargo of timber, senior local Chief Majid Hussein said.

Two of the crew members survived and swam to the shore as Marine Police, with the help of local divers, launched a search for the two missing crew.

The missing crew had not been found by Friday night.

"The rescue effort is difficult due to the heavy currents around Lamu at this time," said Majid.

The boat may have capsized because it was overloaded, and the four crew members on board had no life saving life-saving gear and other clothing and protective equipment, it emerged.

Marine Police recovered the vessel about 15 kilometres yesterday morning at Makokoni, East of Mokowe jetty.

A resident said the fibre boat, which was headed to Lamu Island from Mokowe, sank about 200 metres from the jetty after it was swept on one side by heavy currents from the deep sea.

The identities of the missing crew was not available by the time of going to press.

The Lamu archipelago and Coast have been hit by heavy storms and waves recently and this forced the suspension of  fishing activities.

Many boat operators venture into the sea in the evening despite official weather warnings.

The last major marine accident in Lamu occurred in January 2012 when two passenger boats collided between Lamu Island and Mokowe, killing seven people. Several others sustained injuries while 15 were rescued.

Marine policy does not allow night sailing and passengers are under obligation to wear life jackets.

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