Kenya’s marine agency has urged holidaymakers to observe safety precautions while visiting the Indian Ocean and other water bodies during the festive season, an official said on Monday.

George Nyamoko Okong’o, director-general Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), said in an advertisement in the Nation newspaper that maritime accidents have been increasing over the past ten years.

Business24

“Many people visit our beautiful beaches and other water recreational facilities around the country during Christmas and New Year. It is important for every holidaymaker to comply with water safety guidelines since accidents may occur, especially due to inadequate knowledge on water safety fundamentals and non-compliant vessel operators,” Okong’o said.

He noted that 50 percent of maritime accidents involve capsizing of vessels while 40 percent are drowning cases related to unseaworthy vessels.

The maritime body advised those boarding vessels or boats for recreational sails or for water transport to observe safety rules.

“The public is advised to board only seaworthy vessels that are insured and licensed by KMA. Boat and vessel owners and operators are urged to ensure their vessels are duly licensed in line with the Merchant Shipping Act, 2009, section 57 (1),” Okong’o said.

He further notified all mariners, fisherfolk and speedboat operators to pay attention to weather and tides bulletins so that they take extra caution when need be.

“Avoid venturing into the open seas during a period of strong winds, strong waves, heavy currents and reduced visibility that may contribute to loss of life and property through collision and capsizing of vessels,” he added.

KMA said that a 24-hour regional maritime rescue center will continue to respond to maritime emergencies in case of oil spill incidents. Enditem

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