Four fishermen were rescued after their two canoes capsized while on a fishing expedition in the Indian Ocean.
The four from Mnarani beach management unit in Kilifi left the Mnarani landing site on Saturday at 3am in two canoes.
Chai Ngala, one of the victim said they were about five miles in the deep sea when their canoes were hit by a huge tide.
“We had finished removing our nets from the water and we had a good catch. As we were preparing to leave a high tide hit our canoes. I decided to offload the net into the water but one of the ropes rolled on the canoe and it overturned. We were two in my canoe and as I struggled to stay afloat. My colleague left and joined the other canoe unfortunately it also overturned,” said Ngala
The four are from the same family.
Ngala further said the other canoe was being pushed north by the south monsoon current.
“I lost sight of my colleagues and I raised my paddle expecting that someone would spot me and come to my rescue. After about three hours without any help I left the canoe and decided to swim towards the direction the others had been pushed to. I managed to get a small plastic jerican that I used to swim with. I found my colleagues still stuck in the deep sea,” added Ngala
After another three hours they saw a diver whom they sent to get people to rescue them.
They had been pushed about 15 kilometres from Kilifi town towards Wesa.
They were rescued at around 4PM
At the Mnarani landing site, fellow fishermen who had noticed that the two canoes had not returned, raised the alarm to the Kilifi county sea rescue team under the department of disaster management.
Mnarani BMU chairman said the rescue boat for the county ‘MV Okoa’ did not go beyond the entrance to the deep sea and it made an about turn.
“MV Okoa is not of any help to us. The boat had to return claiming it had no fuel. We had to look for fuel and used our own boats. One team went to the deep sea and another took to the shallow waters. When we reached Tezo we saw a raised paddle which is used as an alarm to alert other sea users that the person is in a disaster. We went there and found all of them alive holding on the canoe. We rescued them and towed the canoes but their nets got lost,” he said
Chivatsi said the rescue boat for the county has not been of any help to the fishermen.
“It is said that the only this this boat does is to pick dead bodies in the ocean. Every time you report a disaster to them they tell you the boat has no fuel. This is a rescue boat how does it operate without fuel?” asked Chivatsi
The weatherman had predicted the Indian ocean will be rough for the whole weekend.