After 13 dreaded days the retrieval mission of a car that plunged into the Indian Ocean on September 29, 2019, at the Likoni channel killing a mother and her daughter, has come to a close.
A search team comprising of volunteer divers and the Kenya Red cross led by the Kenya Navy retrieved the wrecked car and bodies of the victims on Friday October 11, 2019. This is despite spotting the car two days prior.
The car was located 59 meters deep into the dark, debris-filled and shark-infested Likoni channel.
The operation was however hit by a series of inconsistencies and mixed efforts from the government and private divers over the last 12 days. Efforts to retrieve them for the past near two weeks had been met with a number of setbacks among them lack of advanced equipment.
Mariam and her daughter, Amanda lost their lives after their car slid off a ferry on the channel and sank into the ocean. The car was retrieved from the ocean along with their bodies.
Mariam and Amanda’s kindred were present at the scene waiting with bated breath for the bodies of their loved ones.
Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho was at the scene accompanied by top Government officials and the Kenya Navy commander to show support for the process and the deceased’s family.
Residents of Mombasa were not to be left behind as they took to the sidelines to bear witness to the retrieval. Others opted to take to and fro rides on the ferry to ensure they did not miss out on the action.
The Kenya Police were on-site and ensured the operation was successful maintaining minimal or no interruption by locals.
It is speculated that Mariam had engaged the reverse gear which in turn resulted in the car disembarking from the ferry into the ocean.
Reports have however given a clear indication that the incident was totally avoidable if the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) had maintained the ramp ob the ferry.
The September 29, incident touched the hearts of many and elicited mixed reactions from all over the country.
Kenyans called for better safety measures and even better response by the government to accidents going into the future.
May their souls rest in peace.