One dead, 6 missing as boat capsizes in Lake Baringo

Coast Guard officers boarding embark on rescue efforts at Lake Baringo where a motor boat carrying more than 19 youths for a church service capsized on Sunday afternoon.

Photo credit: Florah Koech| Nation Media Group

One person has been confirmed dead, six others missing after a motor boat carrying 19 youths for a church service capsized in Lake Baringo on Sunday.

The 12:30pm incident happened when the youths boarded a boat at Kabikoki village in Salabani in Baringo South headed for a church function at Kokwa Island but they didn’t reach their destination.

The vessel capsized between Parmalok and Kokwa Islands.

According to Baringo County Police Commander Julius Kiragu, 13 of the occupants were rescued but one of them later succumbed.

“The boat had ferried 19 people, most of them being youths who were from Salabani Location heading for a church service at Kokwa Island. Midway, their boat capsized and with the efforts of locals, they managed to rescue 13 of them but one later succumbed.

"Three girls, two boys and a woman are still missing and rescue efforts are ongoing to search the missing persons. 

“Rescue efforts have been hampered by strong tides but some coast guard officers have already been deployed to the scene,” he said.

The county police boss said preliminary investigations indicate that the boat capsized due to overloading- the boat is recommended to carry a capacity of eight people.

“The boat is supposed to carry eight people but in this case, it had a capacity of 19. Such a number in one boat is way too many but we are still carrying out investigations to ascertain the cause,” he noted.

Ilchamus ward MCA Wesley Lekakimon claimed that the boat may have capsized due to strong tides owing to bad weather and overloading.

It is also a major concern that the boat that ferried the youths allegedly had no lifesaving jackets as it ought to be.

The weather was also not good which led to strong waves in the Lake that might have caused the boat to capsize.