Retrieval of vehicle, bodies in Likoni tragedy starts after location

Thursday October 10 2019

Divers from the Kenya Navy prepare to begin the search for the mother and daughter who drowned in the Indian Ocean on October 9, 2019. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Specialised engineering teams are expected to Thursday begin pulling out the vehicle that was carrying a woman and her child, and which lunged into the Indian Ocean at the Likoni channel 11 days ago.

The car, which Ms Mariam Kighenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu were in when it slipped off MV Harambee on September 29 at around 6:13pm, was found following efforts by a multi-agency team.

The announcement was a big relief to the family of Mr John Wambua who have been camping at Likoni.

Here is what we know so far on the retrieval efforts:

  • The car was located after 10 days by a Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) remote-operated undersea vehicle equipment.
  • The rescue team identified the vehicle between 1pm and 2pm Wednesday when they were reviewing 3D films captured during the morning session.

  • Video footage exclusively obtained by the Nation shows two tyres of the vehicle that is seen lying upside down, with its windows locked.
  • A human hand is also seen from one of the car windows.
  • Sources said the car is lying 58 metres deep, and will now require specialised engineering teams to pull it out.

  • The spot at which the vehicle was found is one of the four locations that had been identified earlier by an echo sounder, an instrument used to determine the depth of water and to detect objects in the sea.
  • The vehicle drifted 40 metres away from where it had plunged into the ocean, according to Kenya Ferry Service (KFS) officials.

  • Sources told the Nation that officials from Southern Engineering Company (Seco) are assembling equipment to retrieve the vehicle.
  • Government spokesman Cyrus Oguna said efforts to retrieve the vehicle begin Thursday at 9am.