After 11 days of endless search, the car in which two people drowned after falling off the MV Harambee ferry has been found.
The Toyota Isis which carried a mother and her daughter was found lying 50 metres deep in the Indian Ocean.
The Kenya Navy is working with local and international divers to help retrieve the bodies of 34-year-old Mariam Kaghenda and 4-year-old Amanda Mutheu.
The team conducting the search has been on the spot as Kenyans were impatient that the search took longer than anticipated. The team was forced to exhaust every option but were unsuccessful for 11 days.
The Kenya Navy had identified 14 spots where they predicted the vehicle will be but they had checked in only 10 of these spots before looking for other equipment to help with the search. The government borrowed a new machine to help with the search hence improvements in the search and finally finding the vehicle.
Two days ago when the new machine arrived, South African divers also joined the search to help the Kenyan Navy retrieve the bodies. The team of 8 divers joined the search on Monday. An unknown number of Indian Naval forces also volunteered to help their Kenyan counterparts.
In the past week, weather challenges have hampered the operation after heavy rains pounded the region. Visibility was also cited as a major challenge along the channel. The divers also said that there were hostile animals under the water which proved to be a challenge in the operation.
The Kenyan Navy had announced a sighting of an unnatural disturbance in the water following the deployment of the Advanced System Remote Operated Cameras. The new technology-enabled them to narrow down the search for the bodies to a 300m radius out of the 1.2km radius search area earlier identified.
As of Tuesday morning, the team had been left with four possible locations to find the sunken vehicle.
Government Spokesperson Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said it still remains to be proved if indeed the sighted vehicle is the same one which plunged into the ocean.
“We cannot confirm with certainty that the vehicle is among the objects located at the two spots,” Oguna said while addressing journalists at Likoni Ferry Channel on Wednesday afternoon.
“However, we are hopeful that by end of Wednesday or early Thursday, we will have verified what those objects are,” he said.
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