* Official death toll rises to 38
* Residents vent anger at authorities
* Govt declares 3 days of national mourning
By Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala
STONE TOWN, Zanzibar, July 19 Rescue workers
fought rough seas on Thursday to search for more than 100 people
missing after an overcrowded ferry sank near the Indian Ocean
archipelago of Zanzibar, but hopes of finding survivors were
At least 38 people, including an American citizen, were
confirmed dead and 145 were rescued after the MV Skagit/Kalama
passenger boat capsized on Wednesday around midday near Chumbe
island, west of Zanzibar.
The vessel had set sail from mainland Tanzania to the
semi-autonomous archipelago, a popular tourist beach
Hundreds of people gathered at the Maisara Grounds park
near Zanzibar's historic Stone Town area on Thursday to identify
the bodies of victims laid out in a tent.
Tatu Kwiyela, a 35-year-old woman from mainland Tanzania,
survived the accident, but lost her nine-month-old son.
"I was swept away by strong waves and lost my son, Saidi
Jumanne. I tried to hang on to him but he disappeared into the
sea," said Tatu, who managed to identify his remains.
Police said more than 10 foreign tourists, including a group
of Dutch holidaymakers, were among the rescued passengers.
"One of those killed in the ferry accident is an American
citizen. The body has been recovered and is being preserved at a
mortuary," Zanzibar police spokesman Mohammed Mhina said.
The ferry, with a maximum carrying capacity of 250 people
according to Zanzibar marine authorities, was carrying 290
people, said officials.
"We have recovered seven more bodies today, so the death
toll has now risen to 38, with 145 survivors," Zanzibar Police
Commissioner Mussa Ali Mussa told Reuters.
"You can say it is not humanly possible to find anyone alive
at this point. However, with God's grace the possibility is
still there ... Sometimes you can find people alive after a
month at sea, so we are not giving up all hope."
Police said rescue workers, who had suspended their search
at nightfall, had resumed operations on Thursday to try to
recover more bodies or rescue people who might have drifted from
"We have boats and a police helicopter looking for
survivors, but they are battling with heavy winds and rough
seas," said Mussa.
NO SAFETY REGULATIONS
Some of the victims' relatives said they were angry at
authorities for lax marine safety regulations, especially after
more than 200 people were killed in a ferry accident in
September in the worst maritime disaster in the history of
"The government has killed all these people. They must bring
the owner of the boat to us," said Abdallah Sadick, adding his
brother was among the missing passengers.
Zanzibar residents said ships plying the Unguja-Pemba route
are notoriously overcrowded and there are few, or no,
inspections to ensure their safety.
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete ordered an investigation
into the incident and announced three days of national mourning.
(Editing by Yara Bayoumy and Andrew Heavens)