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Three Kilifi fishermen rescued 27 days after going missing

Three Kenyan fishermen who went missing after their outboard engine boat malfunctioned and was hit by a rogue wave while on a fishing expedition are now back home.

Unfortunately, one of the fishermen is believed to have lost his life after drowning.

Channel 1

The three rescued fishermen traumatized by the ordeal, were received by the Cabinet Secretary for Mining and Blue Economy, Salim Mvurya today at the Mbaraki Wharf, Mombasa County after arriving onboard the Kenya Coast Guard Service flagship vessel, Doria.

Families and relatives of the rescued fishermen who had thronged the Mbaraki Wharf hoping to reunite with their kins were taken away for what authorities said was counselling before they meet up.

In total, the rescued fishermen lay stranded at sea for 22 days before the Chinese vessel came to their rescue.

Mvurya while lauding the Kenya Coast Guard Service personnel involved in the rescue mission extended his commendation to the owners of the Chinese vessel who were the first contacts with the estranged fishermen.

“I want to confirm to Kenyans that we have officially received the three fishermen who were rescued after getting lost at sea for over 22 days. Search and rescue is still going for the missing one,” said Mvurya.

“The operation has been successful because of the cooperation of the different security arms and arms of the government. This is the way to go, and congratulations to the teams,” he said.

The three fishermen who were lucky to be alive included Hanseey Baraka Kilian, Akida Idd Mohamed and Fahad Ali Mohamed.

They wore red overalls and plastic shoes and looked pale, emaciated with anxiety and at times shed tears

After a brief introduction, the three were taken to the Mombasa Hospital for further medical checkup and counselling onboard two ambulances belonging to the Kenya Red Cross Society and St Johns Ambulance.

The four fishermen from Malindi set off for a fishing expedition in November, before encountering stormy waters.

“We received an overdue report of the four fishermen aboard the vessel Jodari, we ensured a seven-day search and rescue mission which faced a lot of challenges” said KCGS Director General Bruno Shioso.

“However, our commitment to resolving the situation persisted utilizing all available marine tools and collaboration with stakeholders. We received news on December 25 that the four had been rescued by a Chinese vessel on December 24,” said Shioso.

The coast guard DG said that they reached out to the China Overseas Fisheries Association on December 26 to confirm the rescue of the three before the KCGS Doria flagship vessel successfully went to recover them along with one outboard engine.

This incident, Shioso said, underscores the need for enhanced capabilities in search and rescue maritime law enforcement.

Annually, the Kenya Coast Guard Services handles about 900 such rescue cases with 62 per cent occurring along the coastal zone impacting small fishing vessels.

“I emphasize the need to acquire more rescue vessels to bolster search and rescue undertakings and enhance maritime law enforcement. The upcoming full operation capabilities of our KCSG center in June 2024 will further strengthen our capacity,” Shioso said.

He said that on an annual basis, KCGS handles over 900 similar cases involving search and rescue countrywide with 62 per cent of the cases along the Coast.

”We now see the importance of acquiring additional vessels to bolster our operations. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these fishermen including the one who is still missing,” he added.

Haniel Mengistu
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