Detectives in Mombasa are awaiting postmortem results of a British soldier who died after collapsing just before boarding a military ship. The body of 34-year-old Benjamin Ryalls was taken to the Pandya Hospital mortuary after the Tuesday 4am incident. Port CID boss Kiberenge Seroney said they want to establish whether Ryalls was drugged when they visited a local pub after the SVS (Specialized Vessel Services) Naval ship docked the Mbaraki Wharf on Monday at around 8.40pm.
Ryalls and two of his colleagues left the ship at around 9pm for drinks at a nearby pub. They then returned at around 4am in two different Tuk Tuk taxis. "One of them (Ryalls) collapsed as he was alighting from the Tuk Tuk going to the vessel. First Aid was administered on him but when he was taken to hospital, he was pronounced dead on arrival," said Seroney.
The Tanzanian-flagged vessel, SVS Frobisher, is used in escorting relief food to Somalia. Seroney said they are collecting information on possible causes of his death from different people, including the drivers of the taxis. The escort warships usually dock at the Mombasa port whenever there is a ship carrying relief food to the war-torn Somalia.
They usually dock in Mombasa either for rest, refueling or servicing. Ships carrying relief materials have been the target of Somali pirates who do not want the supplies to go to Somalia. This is the first such incident involving a military officer. Last year, the Korean chief engineer of the MV Golden Wave, Young Hyun Kim, 58, died after he was pushed by a girl with whom he had spent a night at a local hotel days after they were released by Somali pirates.