FAST RESPONSE

Ferries should have emergency teams aboard or close by

Response is often slow, turning into a salvage rather than rescue mission

In Summary

• Hundreds of thousands of commuters use the Likoni ferry daily and its beats logic to not have emergency teams in close proximity. 

• Strategic operational and response measures to avert embarrassing and unfortunate fatalities should be implemented without delay. 

The Likoni ferry crossing channel
SAFETY MEASURES: The Likoni ferry crossing channel
Image: FILE

Rescue operations have mostly failed whenever vehicles sink and people drown from a ferry. Whenever such tragedies occur, we are told the ferry has no reliable team.

Rescue teams should not have to be sourced from far as emergencies are inevitable. Often, the response is painfully slow and turns to be for salvage rather than rescue.  

Considering water accidents are relatively common in water bodies and beaches, isn’t it only logical that the government ensures constant availability of reliable professional divers? Hundreds of thousands of commuters use the Likoni ferry daily and its beats logic to not have emergency teams in close proximity and on the ferry itself.

Virtually all marine accidents at Likoni have exposed the government agencies in a somewhat embarrassing way–the Mtongwe ferry disaster in 1994 that killed 270 people, several stalling incidences of the giant ferries midstream and last Sunday’s slipping off of a car from a moving ferry into the ocean, killing a woman and her four year old child.

The latter occurred at a time that the Kenya Navy personnel have been parading at the Mama Ngina Drive doing rehearsals for showcasing their expertise during the Mashujaa Day fete to be held in Mombasa.

Strategic operational and response measures to avert embarrassing and unfortunate fatalities should be implemented without delay. Coast residents are justified to feel slighted and as if their lives do not matter much.

Simple safety advisories should be seen to work, too. For instance, KFS should remind commuters to stay out of the vehicles once while the ferry is crossing the channel and keep their children close to them during the ferry crossing as a safety precaution. 

 

Mombasa