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Kilifi County Government reveals cause of Watamu Boat accident

National
 A view of Watamu beach. [File, Standard]

The County Government of Kilifi has confirmed and attributed the Watamu Boat accident to passenger overcrowding and possible weather disruption.

On Saturday afternoon, reports emerged that three people including a five-year-old child had died after the boat they were on capsized in Watamu Beach, Kilifi County.

According to a communication by Kilifi Governor Gideon Mung'aro's office on Sunday morning, the Boat had carried beyond its capacity.

"The county government notes the following: [that]1. MV. Holiday Jabulani (Class boat) carried beyond its capacity," Kilifi County says.

"The Vessel had taken Tourists (Kenyan residents 13 and Non-Kenyan residents 15) on a snorkeling tour approximately 300 meters at Sea off Garoda Beach at Watamu Marine Park yesterday 21st January 2023,"

Reports received by Kilifi County indicate that there was a possibility of bad weather at the time and in the later hours of the day, which could also be a cause of the accident.

As a result, the County's Department of Public Service and Disaster Management will carry out an Inspection on all boats operating along our coastline.

The county has directed all boats operating along the coastline are required to be equipped with safety jackets.

"We will Increase patrons at the beach to ensure there is safety compliance, and ensure timely response to emergencies and incidents. We will also collaborate with Kenya Marine Authority to train more patrons on safety and emergency response,"

According to Mung'aro's communication team, the boat had 28 on board, including Captain and Crew onboard.

So far, the county Rescue Team, KWS, and Private Volunteers managed to rescue a total of 24 tourists, Kilifi County says.

On the other hand, three have died after two bodies were retrieved yesterday with one more remaining.

"The rest were taken to the Hospital for checkups and treatment for injuries incurred. All were released, with only one in hospital still receiving treatment," the County says.

Rescue operations are ongoing.

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