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Kenya Ferry intensifies safety steps after mishap

 MV Likoni ferry
Passengers disembark from MV Likoni ferry at the Island side of the crossing channel in this photo taken on 24th July 2019. The ferry is back in operations after undergoing the 62 million worth refurbishment. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG 

Kenya Ferry Service (KFS) says it has intensified its security and safety campaign to avert disasters after a lorry carrying maize and wheat flour plunged into the ocean last week as the driver was disembarking from a ferry.

Officials said both the online and offline campaigns have been heightened to sensitise locals and visitors on measures to take in case of an accident while on board.

KFS wants commuters to use available safety equipment such as life rafts and jackets and ensure all children are accompanied by adults on board.

It warned that those who contravene the security guidelines would be prosecuted.

“Closely supervise children on board and when boarding or disembarking, hold their hands or ask them to use handrails. Vehicles will leave the ferry before handcarts, followed by bicycles and passengers,” says the State agency in its guidelines

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On Tuesday, goods worth millions of shillings were destroyed after a loaded lorry failed to climb uphill on the Likoni mainland ramp and plunged into the sea. The occupants, however, escaped unhurt.

KFS operates four ferries during peak hours on the Likoni channel while one serves Mtongwe section. Ferries which are currently being operated by KFS include Mv Jambo, Mv Likoni, Mv Harambee and Mv Nyayo at the Likoni channel while Mv Kwale operates on the Mtongwe channel.

It is estimated that more than 300,000 passengers and over 6,000 vehicles cross the Likoni and Mtongwe channels between the island and the South Coast mainland every day.

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