Likoni ferry tragedy: Swedish diver Volker Bassen fails to retrieve the bodies of victims [Video]

Family waiting for the bodies to give the deceased a decent burial

Family of Mariam Kigenda complains over slow process of retrieving bodies in Likoni Ferry Accident

The search and recovery of bodies of the victims of the Likoni ferry tragedy entered day six with the family hoping that the operation would come to an end. 

Hopes were high after renowned Swedish diver Volker Bassen joined the rescue team, promising to locate the bodies within 15 minutes and would bring the operation to an end within two hours.

However, the renowned diver found that the reality on the ground was different and admitted that the operation is not an easy one after he emerged from the depth of the ocean without the bodies of Mariam Kigenda and her daughter Amanda.

He offered an apology on live national TV after he failed to deliver o what he had promised: Locating the bodies within 15 minutes and bringing the operation to an end within two hours by retrieving both the car and the bodies.

"I would like to retract my comments in the previous interview that I had where I said that it would take about two hours to retrieve the car wreckage.

"I realized that I had underestimated the conditions especially that the Kenyan navy has to deal with. The situation is that the visibility is unclear, the waters are deep. The currents are terrible that makes it quite difficult for us to locate the car," Bassen stated.

Addressing the press on Friday, Government spokesperson, Colonel (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna called for patience, stating that the mission would take time.

"Let's be hopeful that tomorrow will be a better day than today. However, we cannot say with a degree of certainity that tomorrow we wil be able to get that vehice out," Oguna stated. 

The government moved in to help on Tuesday, two days after Ms Mariam Kigenda drowned with her daughter on Sunday.

In a statement released to newsrooms two days after the tragic incident, the spokesman stated that the government had been in contact with the family.

"This was an unfortunate incident and as Government, we condole with the bereaved family and we wish to state that we have been in contact with the family and we will provide any assistance that the family may need," the statement read in part.

On Tuesday, MPs demanded to have officials in charge Kenya Ferry, the Navy, Kenya Coast Guard held responsible following the delayed recovery response after the incident.

Managing Director of Kenya Ferry Services Bakari Gowa and Navy Commander Major General Franklin Mghalu were put on the spot after their teams failed to respond in time despite being posted a few metres from the scene of the accident.

The Kenya Coast Guard Director General Brigadier Vincent Loonena whose department should have been on standby for search and rescue operations has also been put on the spot by the legislators.


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