In Summary
  • Divers tried their best to hook the car but the undersea currents were too strong, calling for another strategy.

  • Government spokesman Cyrus Oguna confirmed that indeed the strong waves posed a challenge in their effort to hook the car.

  • "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.

The multi-agency team yesterday failed to retrieve the vehicle carrying a woman and her daughter that plunged into the Indian Ocean after an oversight saw it move from the initial point that it earlier been located at, the Nation has established.

Reliable sources, who were part of the team that spent eight hours at the spot where the car had been spotted, told Nation that the vehicle was moved by heavy undercurrents as it was not tied by a float that had been put to the marked position.

“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,” Nation was told.

He explained that, Thursday the team was using two machines including the Remote-Operated Undersea Vehicle (ROV) to get the vehicle and tie it before moving it out, but all the attempts were futile.

“We spent the better part of the day with the Chinese guys who had their machines and another machine which was being used by officials from the South African company, but all failed forcing us to call off the operation,” said the official who is not allowed to speak to the media.

On Tuesday, the multi-agency team spotted the vehicle 58 metres deep into the channel, using a KPA remote operated undersea vehicle equipment. A video footage seen by Nation showed two tyres of the vehicle seen lying upside down, with its windows locked. A review of the tape also shows a human hand seen from one of the car windows.

Officials added that the team of South African divers had by yesterday afternoon failed in their attempt to hook the car, using ropes as the strong under sea currents posed a challenge, and also danger to them.

DANGEROUS MISSION

“The divers have tried their best to hook the vehicle but the undersea currents were too strong. So we had to hold back and restrategise. This is a dangerous mission so we couldn’t risk the divers’ lives,” one of the team leaders in the multi-agency teams told Nation in confidence.

It also emerged that the multi-agency team are also mulling getting a magnetic equipment after their mission to tag the vehicle failed.

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