In Summary
  • Speaking to journalists from his bed at his home in Kizingitini Island on Thursday, Kahale recalled how he held onto his four children and his three nephews for over four hours after the tragedy.
  • A weeping Kahale said he made sure some of the children held onto him and the rope he untied from the boat as he tried swimming to safety.
  • However, one by one he watched as the children were plagued by fatigue and dizziness, and loosened their grip on him and the rope.

Details have emerged on how Lamu East parliamentary candidate Shekue Kahale swam for over eight hours as he battled to save his life and that of his 10 relatives after a boat capsized in Indian Ocean on Sunday.

The boat, a small 40HP Yamaha Enduro Powered craft, was heading to Lamu Island from Kizingitini when it overturned at Manda Bruno Channel.

WIFE

The vessel was carrying the coxswain, Kahale and his 10 family members — his wife, four children, his sister and her three children, his aunt and the boat coxswain.

The craft capsized at around 10am on Sunday due to the rough tides.

Kahale is the lone survivor of the tragedy and was found alive at Majunguni in Shanga Island on Monday.

4 CHILDREN

Speaking to journalists from his bed at his home in Kizingitini Island on Thursday, Kahale recalled how he held onto his four children and his three nephews for over four hours after the tragedy.

A weeping Kahale said he made sure some of the children held onto him and the rope he untied from the boat as he tried swimming to safety.

However, one by one he watched as the children were plagued by fatigue and dizziness, and loosened their grip on him and the rope.

One by one, they were swallowed by the rough Indian Ocean waters.

Mr Shekue Kahale, who, together with 10 other relatives, were reported missing after a boat they were travelling in disappeared in the Indian Ocean on August 13, 2017. Mr Kahale has been found alive while three bodies have been recovered. PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Shekue Kahale. He lost 10 of his relatives in the tragedy. FILE PHOTO | KALUME KAZUNGU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kahale said when the accident occurred, the boat only had two men, him and the coxswain, Mohamed Shamti, while the rest were women and children.

DEEP SEA

Immediately after the boat overturned, Kahale tried rescuing all his kin— including his wife, sister and aunt— but that he was overwhelmed and watched them being swept away by the heavy currents at Manda Bruno Channel.

All this while, Kahale held onto all the seven children that were on board and swam for over four hours in the hope that he would find help.

It never came.

This is because ill-fated vessel was in the middle of the deep seas where boats rarely ply.

He said when it started raining, most of the children were fatigued and that is when they let go one by one.

They died as he swam just to remain afloat, unable to help.

“We had passed Mtangawanda Jetty heading to Lamu but on reaching Manda Bruno, our boat was overpowered by the high tides and capsized,” he recalled.

TIDES

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