The Kenya Ferry Service (KFS) on Monday withdrew the services of two ferries at Likoni Ferry Channel over mechanical problems, leaving only three in operation.
According to media reports, one of the ferries withdrawn is MV Kilindini, which is said to be having a problem with its propeller.
Reports by the Standard indicate that MV Kilindini only ferries light vehicles and is not allowed to ferry passengers as it can sink anytime.
“The MV Kilindini has structural weaknesses and can’t withstand rough ocean currents,” Standard quotes a source.
KFS has also withdrawn MV Likoni, which is said to have serious mechanical problems.
Last year, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) ordered that MV Harambee be withdrawn, after a car slid from its ramp into the ocean.
Currently, only MV Jambo, MV Kwale and MV Likoni are operating, leaving many residents fighting for spaces left in the three ferries.
KFS is reported to have deployed Police to control the crowd after private security officials hired by the company were overpowered by people causing a stampede during peak hours.
Three ferries at the channel, MV Harambee and MV Kilindini have been deregistered from Lloyd’s Register (an international maritime classification society), being not seaworthy.
MV Nyayo (not operational), MV Harambee, and MV Kilindini were bought second hand in 1990.
On April 29, 1994, the MV Mtongwe ferry bound for the mainland capsized just 40 meters from port, killing 272 of the 400 people on board. Following the disaster, it was reported that the capacity of the ship was 300.
On October 13, 2019, MV Likoni developed mechanical problems and started drifting under heavy ocean currents at 9pm.
MV Jambo was forced to push the stalled ferry to the shore and vehicles were forced to exit in reverse while passengers stampeded out of the ferry.