Seven Tanzanian fishermen who were rescued after their boat capsized in the Indian Ocean three days ago have been quarantined in Kilifi County.
The fishermen were rescued by Kenya Coast Guards officers after making a distress call near Mtwapa where they were fishing after their vessel developed mechanical problems.
Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) Director-General George Okong’o said the group aboard FV Haina Hollo, a Tanzanian registered vessel, have been taken to Kilifi County quarantine centre and the boar pulled to the shore.
“The vessel had departed Tanga for Pemba on June 2 with a cargo of 700 logs of eucalyptus when she was overcome by strong winds, got swamped and heavily listed with loss of propulsion power. The loss of propulsion power coupled with strong winds could have led the vessel to drift to Kenyan waters,” said Mr Okong’o.
He said the fishermen were weak and exhausted and a multiagency team of the Kenya Coastguards, KMA and the Kilifi County government officials attended to the crew in Mtwapa before transferring them to a quarantine facility.
He said the vessel is still in the reef and they have contacted the owner who is making arrangements for tow and salvage.
“KMA has notified the Tanzanian Maritime Authority as well as the consulate in Mombasa of the incident and they are in contact with the vessel owner. We are currently advising fishermen to be vigilant and we have issued two marine warning notices on the strong winds being experienced in the Indian Ocean this time until August,” said the KMA boss.
Recently, the authority conducted maritime safety and compliance campaigns in Kilifi, Mombasa, Homa Bay and Siaya counties in order to enhance safety and compliance levels, reduce water incidents and accidents and protect the lives.
In addition, the authority continues to inform and guide vessel owners and operators on weather and sea conditions as well as on navigational safety precautions through different mariners’ notices.