Activities in the beaches banned past 5pm

People having fun at Pirates Public Beach in Mombasa County on Saturday 25th December 2021, during Christmas celebrations. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Cabinet Secretary for Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs, Salim Mvurya, has banned all activities along the beaches of the Indian Ocean past 5pm.

Addressing the media in Diani, Kwale County, Mvurya said swimming and boat rides in the ocean will not be allowed after 5pm.

The CS also warned boat operators to ensure their vessels are inspected and certified before they can be used for boat rides by holiday makers during the festive season.

"No boat shall be allowed to carry passengers on holiday in the Indian Ocean without life saver jackets and other safety gadgets. All boats must be inspected to ensure compliance before they are authorized for rides," said Mvurya.

Mvurya said the Ministry and stakeholders in the tourism sector have put measures in place to ensure the safety of holiday goers along the Indian Ocean beaches.

Mvurya's directive come in the wake of Sunday evening capsizing of a boat at the Jomo Kenyatta Public beach, popularly referred to as "Pirates beach," where two people died through drowning at 5.40pm.

The deceased, Abdulshakur Haji, 55, and Mohamed Sabir, 35, are Memons and were in Mombasa for Christmas day merrymaking before the tragedy.

The family of 12 from Nairobi had booked accommodation at a nearby beach hotel. One member of the family is admitted in a Mombasa hospital in critical condition. However, all the six children who were rescued are said to be in a stable condition.

The Kenya Maritime Authority has intensified holiday-beach safety awareness campaign to sensitize the public on safety measures.