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Disagreements Among Rescue Teams Delay Retrieval Operations In Likoni As Car Moves To New Location

Likoni Ferry Tragedy recovery operation [Photo/Courtesy]

A major fallout is being witnessed in Likoni, as the multi-agency teams in the retrieval operations of a car that plunged into the ocean two weeks ago accuse the Kenyan Navy of taking credit alone.

On Wednesday, the South African divers left the country after they spotted the car, after an alleged disagreement with the commanders of the Kenya Navy who are manning the operation. According to media reports, the private divers were displeased by a statement on Wednesday that declared the recovery effort an exclusive Kenya Navy affair without acknowledging the role by the South Africans.

Yesterday, the rescuers were unable to retrieve the car, with the government spokesman Cyrus Oguna blaming it on under sea currents.

“The currents were strong and indeed the divers failed to hook up the car. We hope that tomorrow, we shall have come up with mechanisms to address this challenge so that we can retrieve this vehicle,” Mr Oguna said.

Read: Hopes As Ill-fated Car In Likoni Tragedy Found

However, it has emerged that there were major disagreements in the teams, who are fighting for credits as major blame falls on the Kenya Navy, who are accused of elbowing other teams in the operation.

Several divers are said to have left the operation, with only three teams left including Kenya Navy, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), and experts from a Mombasa-based maritime firm – Southern Engineering Company (SECO) who are providing equipment.

Following the delays, Nation reports that the wreckage has moved to a new location, further frustrating recovery efforts.

“After the car was located by the machines, it was not tied by any rope. A rock like object tied on the pink float was put at the spot as a mark only for us to come and learn that the vehicle moved,” a source told the Nation.

Read: I Will Not Sacrifice To ‘Thirsty Sea gods’, Husband of Likoni Ferry Tragedy Victim Declares

With the south African divers, who spotted the car, having left the scene and the Kenyan Navy running out of ideas, it appears the operation could take longer to retrieve the car which is lying upside down 58 metres under waters, and being moved by under water currents.

The South Africans are said to have been upset by with how Kenya Navy was conducting the exercise, causing friction on how the operation was to be carried out.

“The South Africans are not happy with the way the navy is doing this. They feel like they are being pushed to the limits with the Navy doing little,”added another source privy to the going ons.

Read: Robots Come Into Play In Likoni Ferry Tragedy As Agencies Give Conflicting Information

The government is now mulling importing a magnetic equipment after their mission to tag the vehicle failed.

Last week, Oguna revealed that the Kenyan divers, who have been left to run the operation, can only go down for just six minutes for lack of enough oxygen.

With this in play, it means that no diver can go down 58 metres under the waters to tag the car.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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