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Kenyan sailors stranded in Oman high seas return home safely

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Five Kenyan seafarers who were stranded in a stalled ship in Oman for 18 days arrived in the country on Monday August 20 safely.

Mustafa Mzungu, one of the seafarers said they endured horrific times in the high seas as they went for 10 days without food as they could not cook due to the strong winds until they were dramatically rescued by the Oman navy.

Mzungu speaking to the press explained that they left Kenya for Oman after they got information from an agent called David Oruya who wanted 18 seafarers.

“Kenya maritime has regulations for us which requires that we get a contract before travelling. However, Oruya just read it for us then told us that we will leave after two weeks. Later he asked us to leave before the two weeks and we even signed the contract at the Moi international airport Mombasa,” said Mzungu.

He explained that they left Kenya on 22nd May and arrived in Oman on 23rd where they stayed in a hotel for three days before they were taken to the ship where they will be working.


Mzungu continued to say that that the ship was dilapidated and did not have requisite tools like fire extinguishers, air conditioners and it was a dead ship but since they were desperate to get a job they worked and revived the ship from the engine to the upper deck until the owner was happy with the job.

“Later, two other Kenyans joined us and after two days there was a commotion between one Kenyan and a Korean engineer and the ship owner sent the Kenyan back home,” said Mzungu adding that the owner got a sea trial license but the owner decided that they go on the actual fishing expedition.

According to Mzungu, after being on the high seas for six days the ship experienced mechanical problems and stalled.

They tried to seek help but the captain did not want to assist them and they were waiting until he was drunk and that is when they got in touch with the Oman navy after being there for 18 days.

“On 8th August is when the Oman navy came to rescue us. First they surrounded us armed with heavy weaponry because they were not sure who we were because we did not have a flag. When we left for the sea, the captain told us to put up Somalia flags but when the ship stalled he pulled them down and threw them into the ocean,” he explained.

Mzungu said they were forced to swim from their ship to the Oman navy ship and taken to a hotel where they stayed until the Kenyan embassy in Oman arranged to bring them home.

Foreign affairs Principal Secretary (PS) Amb. Macharia Kamau while receiving the seafarers said that those days were torturous for the Kenyans and thanked the Oman navy for saving them.

Macharia said that the government has in the past two years worked round the clock to bring back home Kenyans who were jailed, stranded and other in distress from various countries.

“Three Kenyans who were being incarcerated in Ethiopian jails were brought back home, same to two Kenyan pilots who were being held by rebels in Akobo South Sudan, 68 Kenyans who were trafficked to the United Arabs Emirates (UAE) and Oman, five seafarers who were stranded in Jakarta Indonesia, nine students who were stranded in Venezuela following the violent political protests and four Kenyans who were being incarcerated in South Sudan prisons after conviction for fraud related charges among others,” explained Kamau.


Kamau said that the country appreciates the contribution that the diaspora has to the economic development of the country and asked those seeking employment abroad to verify with the ministry of foreign affairs the existence of the jobs as well as terms of employment.

“I urge all Kenyans going to work abroad to register with the Kenyan missions and consulates abroad and provide employment contacts and details,” said Kamau.

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