Lamu politician recalls dark Sunday when his four kids, wife died at sea

Lamu ODM politician Shekue Kahale has narrated how he tried to rescue his family members before he was overpowered by rough tides.

Kahale lost his wife, four children, his sister and her three children, his aunt and the boat captain who was also a relative.

The accident occurred on Sunday at around 10.30am at Manda Bruno.

Speaking from his bed at his home in Kizingitini on Wednesday, Kahale narrated how he held onto his four children for more than four hours after their boat capsized.

The politician, commonly referred to as Mwanati, said he made sure some of the children held onto him as he tried swimming to safety but he watched as one by one they were plagued by fatigue and dizziness.

They released their grasps on him and fell into the deep ocean.

Kahale was the only survivor. The boat only had two men, Kahale, and the coxswain while the rest were women and children.

For the four hours, he held onto all the six children on board and swam in the hope they would find help. They did not as they were in the middle of the ocean where boats rarely go.

Read: ODM politician’s family feared dead after boat capsizes in Lamu

Kahale said most of the children were tired by the time it started raining and that this was when they let go as he watched.

“The boat was overpowered by the high tides and capsized. I have been at sea for years as a fisherman and so I tried having the children hold onto me as I swam to rescue my wife, sister, and aunt,” he told journalists.

“This proved difficult due to their weight so I was overwhelmed and had to watch them cry for me to save them.”

The politician the last child died at around 6pm.

Kahale said he swam all night before getting to an island where a rescue team found him.

“I could see some boats from faar but no matter how loudly I tried to scream for help, they couldn’t hear me. I swam the entire night before I spotted land and by then it was dawn.”

Kahale has sent an appeal for national and county governments to increase marine patrols so they are round-the-clock to prevent deaths after such accidents.

He believes his family would still be alive if these were available.

“The kids held onto life for over four hours for God’s sake and I believe that was enough time for them to have been saved if there had been patrols.”

The body of Kahale’s sister was later found near Manda Bruno

Search team leader Ali Awadh said the wreckage was found on Shanga island in Lamu east.

He said the body and the boat were found by local divers who camped out after learning about the accident.

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