Six bodies have been recovered after Sunday’s boat accident in Manda Bruno off the Lamu mainland.
Among those in the vessel, ‘MV Samaki’ travelling from Kizingitini to Lamu Island, was Lamu East ODM candidate in last week’s elections Shekue Kahale and members of his family.
Mr Shekue survived by swimming to the shore using a life jacket. He was found on Faza Island exhausted and disoriented.
His wife, four children, sister and her three children as well as a friend’s child, his aunt and the captain of the vessel, identified as Mohamed Shamti, all died.
Villagers milled around the homes of the six as burial arrangements commenced.
The vessel was last seen at Mtangawanda before the accident was reported.
Lamu County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo called for patience as an operation to look for those still missing went on.
And Kenya Maritime Authority official Rajab Kibana said the organisation had joined the search teams.
Mr Kibana cautioned local residents against spreading rumuors about the accident and allow authorities to complete investigations.
“This was an accident just like any other. That is why I am calling on residents to stop spreading false information about it,” he said.
On June 14, another boat capsized killing all 14 passengers on board. The accident was attributed to overloading. Other than the passengers, it also had 100 bags of cement.
And in 2015, a boat captain was killed while four passengers were able to swim to safety in another accident.