State Urged to Replace Old Ferries

Monday, March 13, 2006
Maritime stakeholders in Mombasa have warned over stalled ferries at Likoni, Mombasa. They urged the government to check the condition of the vessels that dock at the Likoni channel to prevent a disaster. Stakeholders warned of the danger of collision between stalled ferries and ships, which use the Mombasa Port. Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) said it would be difficult for a loaded oil tanker to break or drop anchor to avoid hitting a stalled ferry. The Mtongwe disaster, Kenya’s worst marine accident, where over 200 passengers died, should serve as a warning and jolt the authorities into action to avert similar disasters. Some Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) boats sail at over 40 knots along the Likoni channel and any ferry breaking down midstream posed danger to passengers. Over 1,200 ships use Likoni and Mtongwe channels annually. Some of the five ferries belonging to the Kenya Ferry Services are old and often break down. And some of the inspected ferries are more than 30 years old and need replacement. (Source: Standard)

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