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Safety concerns as ferry, ship in near collision at Likoni

Thursday August 22 2019

WACHIRA MWANGI
By WACHIRA MWANGI
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An amateur video showing one of the ferries at the Likoni channel in a near collision with a ship has raised concern over the safety of travellers using the sea crossing.

The viral clip, which surfaced on Wednesday morning, showed a ferry midway across the channel with terrified onlookers who almost witnessed a catastrophe as the ship leaving the Kilindini harbour almost flattened the ferry.

KFS RESPONDS

Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) admitted the incident happened earlier this month, but not on Wednesday morning.

In a statement, the KFS management said that there was no cause for alarm.

"Our attention is drawn to a video clip on social media today depicting a near miss situation. We would like to inform the ferry users that the incident happened on the morning of August 3. During this incident the vessels were in communication," read the statement.

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COXSWAINS QUALIFIED

The management assured ferry users that the coxswains are highly trained and qualified and that the vessels are highly manoeuvrable.

“There is no cause for alarm. It is important to note that all over the world vessels are guided by the rule of the road where every mariner has a duty to take all necessary actions in avoiding collisions at all costs," the management maintained.

MEETING

KFS Managing Director Bakari Gowa, in a phone conversation, told the Nation that they had a meeting at the county commissioner's office on the incident, discussed and addressed the matter.

He said it was agreed that in future, vessels entering and leaving the Kilindini harbour should as much as possible be rescheduled to come in during ferry off-peak time.

"We would like to assure our users that safety of the Likoni and Mtongwe channels is our priority and comes first always. We will constantly engage with the other users of the channel to promote safe operation," the MD said.