Two Homa Bay fishermen drown after jumping into L Victoria to escape boat fire

They drowned as they could not swim, but their two colleagues survived.

A fisherman rows his boat at Koginga Beach of Lake Victoria in Homa Bay Town on September 19, 2017. Two fishermen drowned after jumping off their motor boat that caught fire in Lake Victoria on the night of December 4, 2017. PHOTO | BARACK ODUOR | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IN SUMMARY

  • Four fishermen were cooking using a stove on their boat.
  • A strong wind blew sparks of fire onto petrol as one of them was fuelling the boat, and it resulted in an explosion.
  • They jumped into the lake to escape the fire, but two of them could not swim and they drowned.

Two fishermen drowned after they jumped off their motor boat that caught fire in Lake Victoria on Monday night in Homa Bay County.

Joseph Aduda, 30, and Kevin Odera, 24, were travelling with two other colleagues who survived. Those who escaped were Wycliffe Odoyo, 30, and Calvince Otieno, 28.

EXPLOSION

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The fishermen were travelling from Masara to Nyandiwa beaches in Suba South Sub-County to fish.

According to Nyandiwa Beach Management Unit Chairman Peter Otieno, the fishermen were cooking on the boat using a stove. As one fisherman fuelled the motor boat engine that had stalled using a jerrycan of petrol, a strong wind blew sparks of fire from the stove towards the petrol and resulted in an explosion.

The fishermen jumped into the water after fire engulfed their boat, but two drowned.

"We have lost the two colleagues because they could not swim," said Mr Otieno.

COOKING

Homa Bay County Beach Management Network Chairman Edward Oremo expressed concern that many fishermen had developed a tendency of cooking in their boats while fishing.

"I urge my colleagues to stop cooking while fishing to avoid this kind of tragedy. Let us undertake the right activity at the right place and time," said Mr Oremo.

Homa Bay County Police Commander Marius Tum confirmed the incident.

"The bodies are still missing, still in the water. An operation to retrieve the bodies is underway," said Mr Tum.

The incident comes just nine days after a Tanzanian and two Kenyan fishermen drowned in the lake when they were fishing.

The Tanzanian, identified as Nyang'ope Jashirati aged 30, and Kenyans Martin Kieti, 41, and Joseph Kososi, 33, died near Rusinga Island in Suba North-Sub County.

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