The bodies of a woman and her 4-year-old daughter are yet to be found over 36 hours after the Likoni ferry tragedy.
Mariam Kigenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu were the occupants of the vehicle that plunged into the Indian Ocean on Sunday.
“The search for the vehicle and victims is ongoing after beefing up the rescue teams. Red Cross team is on site offering psycho-social support to the family at our island offices. We will give updates as the salvage exercise continue,” the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) said on Monday.
Reports indicated that KFS has hired a private company, Subsea, to help them locate and recover the vehicle and the two occupants.
Managing Director Bakari Gowa said the Kenya Navy had initially conducted a search but were unable to get the exact location of the car so they will now be working jointly with Subsea.
“This is not the first incident, in most cases you will realize that we have managed to retrieve the vehicle,unfortunately for this situation, the vehicle plunged in the ocean almost in the middle of the channel,” he said during an interview with KTN on Monday night.
He added that the search was halted as divers could not work in the dark but they would resume the operation on Tuesday morning.
The saloon car that was onboard the Likoni ferry reversed and plunged into the ocean on Sunday at 6:15pm.
On Monday, Kenyans took to social media criticizing KFS over its alleged lack of preparedness for such incidents.
“The Likoni ferry incident is disturbing and points to general lack of preparedness for accidents and emergencies. Why on earth did a car reverse unnoticed ? It means these Ferries are floating disasters,” Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr said.
“Loss of beautiful souls; Mariam Kigenda and her four year old daughter Amanda Mutheu. The Ferry services should have better safety measures and a more efficient response team. May the departed Rest in Peace,” Agnes Kagure added.
Amos Njoroge posed: “Whether the driver engaged reverse, whether the ferry had no divers, I only have one question; why wasn’t the ramp raised? That just might have saved the car from going overboard.”