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Divers fail to retrieve Likoni car, bodies as frustrations mount : The Standard

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A team of divers at the Likoni Ferry channel on Thursday, October 10, 2019. The car that slipped in the Indian Ocean with a woman and her daughter is yet to be retrieved from the ocean despite being located. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

The efforts by the multi-agency team to retrieve the car which sunk with mother and daughter aboard on the Likoni Channel failed to bear fruits again.

Government Spokesman Rtd Colonel Cyrus Oguna conceded on Thursday evening that after several attempts to snap up the wrecked vehicle using a specialised gadget failed.
Oguna gave multiple reasons why the process has failed despite being carried out for the past 12 days.
For instance, he blamed strong undercurrents at seabed which he said hampered the process of diving and pulling out the wrecked vehicle carefully, with the bodies.
He also said they were to lift the vehicle with the victims intact to avoid smashing it.
“We had issued 100 per cent possibility of retrieving the vehicle but we didn’t manage because of two reasons, one is due to strong undercurrents at bed sea and also we want to get the bodies inside while intact,” said Mr Oguna.
The government spokesman appealed for patience saying that they were on a delicate operation. He said that the ultimate goal was to retrieve the vehicle with bodies tucked inside and that any mistake would see the bodies spill from the car, and that would only add misery to the exercise and the bereaved family.
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Asked whether they had ascertained the number of bodies in the car he replied: “There are only bodies in the car, they cannot be four.”
In the morning briefing, Oguna speculated and gave the reasons why the process might take a longer time to achieve.
He said that complications arose from the fact that there are hundreds of commuters using the Likoni ferry channel and ships docking at the port of Mombasa making retrieval a hard task.
Many theories have been raised on why the government is taking longer to retrieve the vehicle where some have pointed to supremacy battle reigning the exercise.
Split?
Kenya Ports Authority divers and the South African divers who were hired by the family are said to have protested the government moves to give credit the Kenya Navy divers yet the search and recovery mission was a joint operation.
It also emerged that the South African divers left the process to Kenya Navy divers who were not able to tie the wrecked vehicle which is at 58 metres on the seabed.
A source who was part of the operations told The Standard, the KPA and foreign divers felt they were being dressed down after doing the successful work of locating the car.
South African divers arrived on Monday and the government announced the sighted vehicle Thursday evening less than 48 hrs.
Family members who had been waiting patiently after being promised by the government could not hold back.
They started protesting at Mbaraki Wharf chanting “haki yetu haki yetu” as they questioned the slow phase the government was taking.
Government officials who felt ashamed of the protest were forced to shut down the protestors and warned them of dire consequences.
“Do you know what the government has been doing since the incident happened. We don’t want escorts…family are our subject,” said an official.
Area OCPD Benjamin Rotich told the protestors who were not part of the family to leave the Mbaraki wharf premises or be arrested.

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Related Topics
Colonel Cyrus OgunaLikoni ChannelKenya NavyMariam KighendaAmanda Mutheu



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