Two brothers drowned after their boat capsized near Sirongo beach in Lake Victoria on Tuesday, December 27.
Dedan Omondi Damai aged 22 and Wycliffe Onyango Damai, 21, were on a fishing expedition on Tuesday evening when their boat capsized due to strong winds.
Julius Odembo, the Chairman of Sika beach, Mageta Island, said the bodies of the two are yet to be recovered.
Odembo urged the County Government of Siaya to join efforts to retrieve the bodies from the Lake by supporting local fishermen with fuel to power motorboats involved in the search.
“We have exhausted the fuel we had bought from our savings and we have not yet found the deceased that’s why we have extended requests to the County government of Siaya and Office of Gideon Ochanda (Bondo MP) to support us,” Odembo said.
"Omondi (22) and Onyango (21) who were blood brothers decided to go fishing so as to get resources to support their family and to continue celebrating Christmas. The duo had left Sika beach to lay net traps at Sirongo,” Odembo added.
He said the brothers were returning to Sika when the mighty wind started blowing. They were overwhelmed and the strong wind made their boat capsize.
“We are appealing to fishermen in Lake Victoria to notify us whenever they bumped into the two bodies,” he added.
When K24 Digital visited the scene, a sombre mood engulfed the usually busy beach as relatives and friends looked on in horror.
According to a survivor, the tragedy occurred when the helmsman panicked after the boat started leaking prompting one of the occupants to take charge of the vessel but later lost control.
“Efforts to drain water from the vessel proved futile as the boat continued to hold more water that seeped through due to mighty waves. Two of my colleagues drowned on the spot as they could not manage to swim,” he said.
He added: “I told one of them to swim to the shore but he did not know how to swim so he cried for help and as we peddled back, he had drowned”.
Odembo called fishermen to exercise caution, especially during this time.
“We have been advising fishermen not to go fishing without putting on life-saving jackets but they have ignored and yet we are trying to save them from dangers like the one that has stricken,” Odembo stated.
The Bondo incident comes only two days after a similar incident occurred at a popular Pirates Beach in Mombassa where two people drowned on Christmas Day after their boat capsized.
Mombasa County Police Commander Stephen Matu said the two were among 12 family members who had travelled from Nairobi and had hired a boat for a short trip into the deep seas off the usually crowded public beach in the outskirts of Mombasa city.
According to the police boss, one family member is still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
Infants aged between three and five months, who were part of the family during the incident, are in stable condition.
The others were successfully rescued as lifesavers and well-wishers answered their distress calls.