The operation by the Kenyan Navy to recover the vehicle that slipped off a ferry at the Likoni channel crossing and sunk into the Indian Ocean with a woman and her daughter has been suspended until tomorrow, Friday.
This is after the officers, who are being assisted by divers from South Africa, failed to recover the vehicle and the bodies of Mariam Kighenda and her 4-year-old daughter Amanda Mutheu as the government had promised on Thursday morning.
Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna said on Thursday evening that the process to remove the wreck from the seabed had been hampered by strong currents that may pose a high risk to divers.
He also noted that the divers were being careful with the operation because the vehicle has the bodies inside that “must be accorded their respect”.
Being careless, he said, could “damage” or drop the bodies back into the seabed.
The operation that was expected to kick off at 9.00am was delayed by over an hour to let the currents subside and also allow two ships dock at the port of Mombasa.
“We had announced yesterday that we will start the process of retrieving the car at 9am but as of now we haven’t … we don’t want to interfere with normal operations at the channel. You can see many commuters are crossing the ferry,” said Oguna.
The car with registration number KCB 289C was spotted on Wednesday evening after 11 days of searching.
“We have ascertained that the number plate of the car in the water is KCB 289C which is similar to the one in question. We have also checked on CCTV footage when the car was on the ferry and confirmed the number plates,” said Oguna.
Reports indicate that the ill-fated car was the last to board MV Harambee ferry on Sunday, September 29, 2019, and reversed when the ferry was midstream, plunging into the ocean.