A man died early this morning when the saloon car he was driving plunged into the Indian Ocean at the Likoni crossing channel in Mombasa under unclear circumstances.
Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) confirmed that the man identified as 46 year old John Mutindwa drove past the ferry ramps at high speed, towards the ocean even after being flagged by ramp controllers to slow down and stop.
Kenya Navy divers swung into action immediately and retrieved the body at around 9am from the channel but it was not clear what prompted his rush past the ramp before he plunged into the ocean at around 4.20 in the morning.
Relatives at the scene identified him as John Mutinda but Family spokesman Benedict Sila said they learnt from his wife that the deceased had left the house in the wee hours of the morning without explaining to her where he was going.
“The driver ignored warnings from ramp controllers and plunged into the sea. At the time he was coming to the ramp we did not have a ferry at the site. Actually the ferry was on the other side of the channel,” KFS Managing Director Bakari Gowa said.
Mombasa governor Hassan Joho urged ferry users and management to be cautious during this period of festivities when there is huge vehicle and human traffic at the channel. “We can’t afford to have any more casualties in similar situations,” he said in a statement.
The incident comes barely three months after a 35 year old woman and her four year old daughter died at the channel that connects Mombasa Island to the mainland south after their car plunged into the ocean.
The ill-fated family car slipped from a moving ferry midstream plunging into the ocean killing the two.
By Hussein Abdullahi