Boat With 15 Foreigners Overturns In Indian Ocean

The eight who survived, out of 15 Comorians, were rescued after their boat was overwhelmed by waves in the Indian Ocean.

Boat With 15 Foreigners Overturns In Indian Ocean

Seven foreigners died while eight were rescued on Monday, August 9 in Watamu off Kenya's coast after a boat they were traveling in capsized.

The eight who survived, out of 15 Comorians, were rescued after their boat was overwhelmed by waves in the Indian Ocean.

They were saved by fishermen who spotted their small engine boat tied with a white piece of cloth floating as the engine was reported to have malfunctioned. The fishermen then alerted Kenya Navy soldiers who quickly intervened and managed to rescue them to the Watamu dispensary.

Boats at the Indian Ocean on October 9, 2019. /FILE

They were later rushed to Malindi Sub County hospital, with reports indicating that they were in a bad state, dehydrated, hungry, and very weak at the time they were rescued.

Viral Tea also learnt that they had been surviving without food for 22 days only depending on water.

Locals in Watamu reportedly donated clothes and water to cover their ‘half’ naked bodies that were dehydrated as most of them could barely talk. Only one of them could communicate but solely in Comoros language.

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers mobilized a team of their doctors who rushed at the Malindi Sub County hospital and together with the local health officials managed to attend to them as other military officials got translators to be able to communicate with them and their relatives in their country.

It was alleged that the sailors were 22 in number including two women, one of them expectant, who were sailing from Nzuani Island to Mayotte Island, a journey which could have taken them a day. The translator, Nassir Abubakar Ali, a resident of Majengo, Malindi who knows the Comoros language told journalists that while on their journey their engine developed mechanical problems, and later the boat was hit by the strong tide and pushed far.

Speaking at the hospital, Ali revealed that he was called by Kenya Navy soldiers to come and translate for them the language being spoken by the Comoros sailors who had been rescued. He added that upon speaking to them he established that on the fateful day the Comoros nationals got lost after being hit by the strong tide.

“Unfortunately, seven of them died and eight remained alive, Navy called me to assist in translating and we have cooperated well with them including getting us contacts to call their relatives in Comoros and France," he said.

Ali added that the Kenya Navy officials talked to some of the relatives of the rescued sailors but some were yet to get details of their kin. According to him, some are yet to regain consciousness but those who spoke said after the incident that those who died were being thrown in the Ocean, and by the time, they were being rescued only eight were alive.

The translator added that they were found with bags which indicated that they were not fishermen but sailors who were moving from one island to another.

Comoros is a country composed of four Islands and movement from the different islands is strictly by boat. Ali clarified that the same way people from Malindi take a bus from Malindi to Mombasa and from Mombasa to Nairobi up to Kisumu is the same way Comoros uses boats to reach one city to another.

Medical personnel from Malindi Sub County hospital are expected to brief the media later in the day about the progress of the rescued Comoros sailors and how they are responding to treatment.

Malindi Sub-County hospital. /FILE