The biggest and oldest ferry MV Nyayo with commuters on board was this morning pushed by heavy tides off the Likoni channel towards the deep sea.
The ferry developed mechanical problems at 7 am.
Efforts by the Kenya Ports Authority tower boat to push it to the Island ramps were unsuccessful, but after reinforcement, the ferry was towed to the Island.
A school girl and other commuters inside MV Nyayo that was pushed by heavy tides towards the deep sea on Tuesday, May 8. ALLOYS MUSYOKA
The breakdown has led to a major crisis at the Likoni channel as it happened during peak hours.
Mv Nyayo being towed by KPA tug boats with computers on board. ELKANA JACOB
Thousands of commuters and motorists at the busy Likoni channel are still stranded as only three ferries, MV Harambee, MV Kwale and MV Likoni try are in operation.
"To all our customers, beware the sea is very rough, heavy currents experienced due to heavy rains. Landings are rough and tricky. Be vigilant", the Kenya Ferry Services tweeted without commenting on the breakdown.
One of the passengers Stephen Muli said the ferry problem is a disaster in waiting if it is not solved urgently.
"We are asking President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and clear this mess because what we experienced today is a total failure of the staff. Why should they risk the lives of citizens by allowing a broken down ferry to operate?" he posed.
The ferry took an hour to cross the channel from the mainland to island with Caroline Katana also a passenger, saying many of them risk being sent home by their bosses due to such delays.
"We boarded the ferry at around 7:00 am after leaving Kwale 4:00 am. We were being treated to a drama inside the sea. It's scary and dangerous. Something needs to be done," she said.