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Recovery operation of ferry victims underway

A multi-agency rescue team on Wednesday morning resumed the major recovery operation to recover a saloon car that on Sunday evening plunged into the Indian Ocean at Likoni channel in Mombasa with a woman and her daughter.


The initial task of the rescue team that included divers from Kenya Navy is to geo-locate the exact location of the vehicle using a robot and secure it.


Ferry services were temporarily suspended to pave way for recovery mission and ensure safety of the divers.


The woman and her four year old daughter are feared dead and still buried in the Indian Ocean after the vehicle they were traveling in slipped off a ferry and plunged into the ocean.


Government Spokesman Col (rtd) Cyrus Oguna said the government acted promptly after the accident but the heavy winds and fast flowing currents at the seabed delayed the recovery mission.


“The difficult sea conditions and usual heavy traffic of both passengers and cargo ships along the channel has complicated the recovery mission,” said Col Oguna during a press briefing at the scene of the incident.


He said immediately after the accident, the government initiated efforts and mobilized a multi-agency rescue team that comprises divers and other experts from Kenya Navy, Kenya Ferry Service, Kenya Ports Authority, the Kenya Coast Guard Service and Kenya Maritime Authority.


“As a government, we took prompt and necessary action immediately the unfortunate incident occurred,” he added as he dismissed reports in the social media that the government has gone silent about the incident.


Col Oguna was accompanied by the KFS Chairman and Managing Director Dan Mwazo and Bakari Gowa respectively.


Also present was Mombasa County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo and top officials of Kenya Navy and Kenya Ports Authority official.


Hundreds of residents have jammed the area to witness the on-going rescue mission.


By Mohamed Hassan


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