Voter hurt as boat capsizes at Lamu’s Manda Bruno channel

boat passing through Manda Bruno channel in Lamu

A cargo boat passing through the dangerous Manda Bruno channel in Lamu. Seven voters were on August 9, 2022 rescued at the channel after the boat they were travelling in from Mtangawanda to Lamu town capsized. One man was injured in the incident.

Photo credit: Kalume Kazungu |Nation Media Group

A voter in Lamu County was seriously injured after the boat he was travelling in capsized at the dangerous Manda Bruno channel in the Indian Ocean.

The boat had seven occupants — six men and a woman — who had gone to Mtangawanda in Lamu East sub-county to vote. They were on their way back to Lamu Old Town when their vessel was overpowered by strong winds and tides.

Kenya Red Cross Society Lamu Branch Coordinator Kauthar Alwy confirmed the incident, adding that the society’s rescue team in coordination with officials from the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) reached at the scene on time and managed to rescue all the seven.

The injured man was rushed to the King Fahd County Hospital where he is being treated.

Strong tides

“It was around 12 noon when the accident occurred. There were seven voters from Mtangawanda headed to Lamu town but on reaching Manda Bruno Channel, their boat was overpowered by strong tides. Its engine was even destroyed leading to the capsizing,” said Ms Alwy.

She added, “We rescued all the seven. One was, however, injured but he is currently recuperating at the King Fahd County Hospital.”

She called on sailors to observe safety while at sea and to avoid speeding and overloading.

The worst ever marine accident to happen at the Manda Bruno channel and recorded in Lamu's history was that of August 13, 2017, when a boat carrying a Lamu politician Shekuwe Kahale Mwanati and 11 of his relatives, including his four young children aged between 9 months and 11 years, his wife, sister, nephews and nieces, capsized at the killer channel due to rough tides.

Only the politician survived the accident that claimed the lives of 11 people.

Manda Bruno is among the killer channels of Lamu which are renowned for their rough tides that require utmost navigation skills by those plying their boats in the area.

A countless number of people have lost their lives at Manda Bruno and many other killer channels in the Lamu waters.

Other renowned dangerous and killer channels in the Lamu Indian Ocean include Mlango wa Tanu in Mkokoni, Mlango wa Ali in Kiwayu, and Mlango wa Bomani in Kiunga, all in Lamu East Sub-County.

The Mkanda, Shella, and Mlango wa Kipungani are also among the killer channels found in Lamu West.

These channels are found in areas considered deepest in the Indian Ocean in the region.

They are always characterised by immensely rough currents accompanied by strong waves.