Zanzibar Ferry Capsizes
A 35 meter long, 308 gt ferry capsized off Chumbe Island. The ferry departed Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania with 281 passengers en route to Zanzibar when it was struck by strong winds and waves. The ferry quickly lost stability and capsized leaving the Kalama mostly submerged with just a small portion of the keel. Authorities dispatched rescue boats to the scene. Reports state 124 people were found alive by rescuers while 24 bodies were recovered. Some survivors were in good shape, but there were many who were found unconscious. Authorities are continuing search and rescue operations. Last report states the ferry has nearly sunk with only a small portion still visible.
There was some confusion to the name of the ferry. Multiple reports refer the ferry as either the Skagit or the Kalama. Both ferries were passenger-only ferries built for Washington State. Both were built in 1989 serving the Seatte area before being sold overseas in 2009 after the local government discontinued the passenger-only vessels. The pair of the vessels were sold to a firm in Canada for $400,000 before being sold to a company in Tanzania.
- Tanzania ferry sinks off Zanzibar (bbc.co.uk)
- Twelve dead as ferry sinks off Zanzibar (news.com.au)
- Official: 12 killed in Zanzibar ferry accident (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- 24 dead after ferry sinks off the coast of Tanzania (itv.com)