In Summary
  • Head of the rescue team, Col Lawrence Gituma, confirmed that the equipment is not available locally and will be brought imported from South Africa.
  • The family of Mariam Kighenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu contracted five divers from SubSeas Services, a commercial diving company operating in South Africa.
  • Kighenda and her daughter drowned on September 29 at the Likoni Channel after their car slipped off the ferry.

The government could be biting more than it can chew on the Likoni ferry tragedy after it emerged that only four spots have been mapped as opposed to the 14 indicated earlier.

By yesterday, the government had not deployed equipment that would help retrieve the bodies of Mariam Kighenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu. This despite assurance on Sunday that it had acquired more tools for the task.

ECHO SOUNDER

Nation learnt that lack of equipment had forced the navy recovery team to dock at the Mbaraki wharf in the Likoni Channel on the eighth day of the operation.

Contrary to reports from government spokesman Cyrus Oguna that divers from Kenya Navy have been working on 14 possible spots, where the vehicle might be, Nation has learnt that only four coordinates had been identified.

A reliable source from a government agency involved in the operations revealed that from last Monday to Thursday, divers from Kenya Navy had been given only four mapped locations, where the teams suspected the vehicle and bodies could be lying.

The sites had been identified by an echo sounder, an instrument used to determine the depth of water and detect objects in the sea.

GREAT RISK

“The divers had checked on two [of the locations] which gave negative results. On Thursday, they were working to see how they could get on the other two, which were a bit deeper,” Nation was told.

The mapped locations are 57 metres, 47 metres, 37 metres and 27 metres deep. By last Wednesday, the divers had gone into the 27 and 37 metre spots.

“We had hopes with the 27 metres point and that’s where the divers had spent a lot of time as it was near the spot where the vehicle plunged, but it turned out negative,” the official, who is not allowed to speak to media, said.

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