Govt Spokesperson Mocks Swedish Diver After Resounding Failure
While making a press statement on Wednesday, October 9, government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna took a swipe at Swedish diver Volker Bassen.
The Swedish diver claimed he could retrieve bodies of the two Likoni Ferry victims in a record time of two hours. Mariam Kighenda and her daughter, Amanda Mutheu met an untimely death after their vehicle sunk in the Indian Ocean 11 days ago when it slid off the ramp of a ferry on the Likoni Channel.
On Friday, October 4, Bassen in an interview with KTN was certain he could do the job that had proved difficult for Kenya Navy and officers from the Kenya Ferry Services. The Swedish diver was allowed to join the search operations amid pressure from Kenyans on social media.
“There are some people who claimed they could retrieve the bodies from the sea in two hours’ time, but they failed spectacularly, and took off. You know them,” Oguna told journalists delivering an indirect blow to at Bassen.
For the better part of October 4, Bassen, accompanied by three members of his team, mapped the briny water body.
The four men scanned several blocks within the waters of the Likoni channel in a bid to locate Kighenda’s Toyota Isis.
The team used a four-seater motorboat fitted with screens to monitor echo signals. At around 1 p.m, Bassen took a lunch break and resumed the search operation at 3 p.m.
A few minutes past 5 p.m., he wore his underwater gear and dived into the ocean alongside a support diver
Forty-five minutes later, the two divers resurfaced and stated that his team had identified a possible location in the sea where Kighenda’s vehicle could be lying.
The vehicle according to the Swedish national was lying 60 meters deep in the sea. Bassen requested Kenya Ferry to suspend normal operations over the evening to allow him and his team to dive and retrieve the bodies. His request wasn’t granted.
Bassen later confessed to underestimating the rescue operation. "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.
Oguna, who was present during the Friday exercise asked Kenyans to be patient, saying “no human has the ability to spot the vehicle, but only Science can help in that exercise”.
“We will come back tomorrow [Saturday, October 5], let us be hopeful that tomorrow will be better than today. We can, however, not say with certainty that we will be able to get Mariam’s vehicle out [of the sea],” Oguna told K24 Digital.
Kenya Navy Commander, Levy Mghalu, was among hundreds of people who witnessed the October 4, operation alongside other government officials.
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