Kilifi boat tragedy: Vessel was overloaded when struck by bad weather

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The boat that capsized over the weekend killing three had excess passengers, the Kilifi County government has now said.

The tourist glass boat MV Jabulani had 13 Kenyan residents and 15 foreigners who were on a snorkeling tour when the vessel was hit by bad weather on Saturday afternoon.

“The number onboard had exceeded the capacity of the vessel and therefore acted as a huge contributor to the capsizing when the vessel was hit by bad weather,” a report by the Emergency Response at Watamu Marine Park has said.

“Possibility of bad weather at the time and in the later hours of the day also contributed to the accident considering the above inappropriate condition,” read part of the statement.

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A collaborative effort from the county Rescue Team, KWS and Private Volunteers to rescue the passengers saw a total of 24 tourists saved.

“Unfortunately three lost their lives; two bodies were retrieved yesterday with one more remaining,” read the statement.

“The rest were taken to Hospital for checkups and treatment for injuries incurred. All were released, with only one (1) in hospital still receiving treatment.”

The Kilifi county government has now ordered the department of Public Service and Disaster Management to carry out an inspection on all boats operating along the Kilifi coastline.

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