Authorities Reveal Cause of Fatal Siaya Boat Accident

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The boat that capsized near Usenge beach in Siaya County on Tuesday night, November 17, killing 10 people may have been overloaded, the authorities have revealed.

According to Kenya Maritime Authority, the vessel, which was coming from Uganda, was carrying cargo way beyond its capacity.

The team investigating the Tuesday night accident also stated that the preliminary findings indicate that the passengers had no life jackets at the time of the accident adding that there would have been more survivors had those on board been wearing life jackets.

Coast Guard Service officer-in-charge of inland squadron Bernard Mibei on Thursday, November 19 told the press that the boat was heavily loaded with agricultural produce, including bananas and jackfruits.

The preliminary investigations have also revealed that the operators of the vessel failed to inform maritime agencies in the region about their trip.

Lake Victoria accident
Officials retrieve the wreckage of Usenge – Mageta ferry at Anyanga Beach in Siaya County. Image/Courtesy

“As standard practice, the vessel’s operators are expected to alert the authorities of their schedule before they travel. This was not the case,” Coast Guard Service officer Bernard Mibei said.

The multi-agency team from the Kenya Maritime Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority, Coast Guard Service, the police, department of fisheries and fishermen from Honge and Usenge beaches have recovered all the ten bodies from the lake.

Bondo deputy county commissioner Paul Wanyonyi who led the multi-agency team in the search mission said that the bodies will be handed over to Ugandan marine officers.

The accident happened barely a month after another boat accident that killed six people in Budalang’i, all the victims were Ugandan nationals.

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