Government Spokesperson, Cyrus Oguna, has thrown shade at private divers who claimed that they could retrieve the bodies of Mariam Kighenda and her daughter, Amanda Mutheu from the Indian Ocean.
On Wednesday, while addressing the press, Col. Oguna said that there were people who said they could do the work better and in record time.
“There are those who came and said that they could retrieve the bodies from the sea but failed and left. You know them,” said Oguna. He did not mention anyone.
Swedish diver Volker Bassen claimed that he had enough equipment and expertise to locate the sunken vehicle within 15 minutes and get it out of water in 2 hours once he had pinpointed the exact location. A day later, he was forced to eat his words.
“I realised that I underestimated the conditions here especially what Kenya Navy has to deal with. It is zero visibility, very deep water and terrible current that make it difficult for use to locate the car,” he said after his failed attempt.
Since the ferry tragedy at Likoni channel, the family had blamed the government of dragging its feet and were forced to dig into their pockets to pay private divers to help in retrieving the bodies of their loved ones.
The family paid private divers after the government suspended recovery operation after the third day due to darkness.
Musa, another private diver who was suspended by government from participating in the search for the bodies of victims of the ferry tragedy, had also joined the mission.
But the private divers claimed that there are more than 10 vehicles submerged under the water, making it hard for the rescue team to single out the exact vehicle with the bodies of the two victims.
The operation by multi-agency teams that comprises divers and other experts from Kenya Navy, Kenya Ferry Services Ltd, Kenya Ports Authority, the Kenya Coast Guard service and Kenya
Marine and Fisheries research institute are due to resume on Thursday morning to finalize their mission according to Mr Oguna.
“What is remaining is about 10 per cent. We need to confirm the number plate of that vehicle to ascertain if indeed it is the one that sunk into the channel on September 29,” he said.
Oguna who was not conclusive of the time they will take to retrieve the car from the ocean called for more patience.