Kenya turns to SA divers to retrieve drowned family

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Kenya is pegging its hopes of retrieving a submerged car and bodies of its two occupants on South African divers who are expected to arrive in the coastal city of Mombasa on Monday.

A woman and her daughter drowned at the busy Likoni ferry crossing nine days ago after their vehicle plunged into the Indian Ocean.

The incident was captured on video and shared widely on social media.

“Car just slid off the ferry and sunk at the Likoni channel a few minutes ago”.

A multi-agency recovery team failed to accomplish the task, sparking public anger and bad publicity for the Kenya Navy, whose lack of equipment has been exposed by the incident.

Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna told journalists that the South African divers will arrive in two batches and will start the search for the bodies on tuesday.

“The first batch will arrive sunday, the second one on monday. They will meet the Kenyan team starting the search on tuesday,” Mr Oguna said.

Transport Minister James Macharia also confirmed to journalists the expected arrival of the South African divers.

“We had an expert from Sweden and we are having others from South Africa who are coming in the next few days to join the rescue operation,” .

The tragedy and the accompanying negative publicity has cast a dark shadow over preparations to host this year’s national Heroes Day at a venue near the ferry crossing.

Kenya navy troops have been parading their ships and helicopters in rehearsals for the celebrations to be held at the Mama Ngina Waterfront Park in 10 days.

 

Dominica Nwabufo