Tragedy as five mourners drown

Monday, March 22nd, 2021 00:00 |
Fishermen at Arongo Beach in Seme sub-county within Kisumu use fishing nets to retrieve bodies of people who drowned on Saturday evening. Photo/PD/Viola Kosome

Five mourners drowned in Lake Victoria on Saturday evening while on a boat ride at Kadinga village in Seme constituency, Kisumu County.

Three bodies of those who drowned were moved to Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary in Kisumu. 

 Survivors of the tragedy, among them a coxswain and one other person were rushed to Manywanda Hospital for treatment.

The bodies of those who drowned were retrieved by local divers and fishermen. Thy were identified as Anne Kibe, Roselyn Akoth, Monicah Kinde, George Onyango and Michael Otieno.

Confirming the incident, South West Seme location assistant chief Shadrach Ochola said the boat had eight people on board at the time of the incident.

None of the passengers had life-saving jackets.

“This accident could have been avoided if the passengers took precautions by putting on life jackets,” he added.

Ochola said the eight who had travelled from Nairobi to attend a funeral in the area decided to take a boat ride after laying their loved one to rest.

One of them was taking selfie during the ride thus tilting the boat before it capsized.

Search for the remaining three bodies is still on.

“We are using fishing gears to try to fish out the remaining bodies. The nets have been cast around the area where the boat capsized, which was approximately 200 meters from the shoreline, “ he said.

He added: “The search mission has been successful due to the cooperation between the beach management unit and the Kenya Maritime.”

Little ride

Before the burial of Mzee John Otieno Asweto, father to their colleague, Eunice Atieno, the mourners joined others in reciting hymns and dirges as a show of solidarity to their bereaved workmate.

They offered her comforting messages and took photos with her as a sign of remembrance. 

According to their driver, Kimemia Waweru, who luckily survived, his colleagues were excited to see the beach and convinced the boat riders to take them for a little ride.

“The riders were hesitant because of the weather but my colleagues convinced them to take them since they had not experienced it before,” he said.

The riders agreed to take them for a ride within the periphery.

“ My colleagues were really excited and were taking photos and selfie. The weather suddenly changed and the boat overturned “ he said.

Kimemia said during the incident, the boat riders rescued him but unfortunately five of his colleagues drowned.

“We screamed and prayed. It was shocking scene. Luckily one person held my hand and pulled me back. My colleagues drowned. I feel terrified,” he said.

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