Update: Kenya Navy divers revealed the identity of the man whose body was retrieved at the Likoni Channel after his vehicle plunged into the water earlier today as one John Mutinda, 46. His body was taken to Coast General Hospital Mortuary by Ferry police vehicle.
Kenya Ferry Services is conducting a retrieval mission at the Likoni Ferry Channel after another vehicle plunged into the Indian Ocean on Saturday, December 7, 2019.
"It is with sadness that we would like to confirm that at around 4.20 AM on the mainland side of the channel, a motorist driving a saloon car whose registration number plate has not yet been established right away after purchasing ticket drove off to the ramps with high speed to the ocean even after being flagged by our ramp controllers to slow down and stop," Kenya Ferry announced.
It has not yet been established if Mutinda was with other passengers in the Saloon car.
The agency further elaborated that the driver of the vehicle drove at high speed after purchasing a ticket and plunged into the water. Efforts to stop him were in vain as he sped on even after being flagged by KFS ramp controllers to slow down.
Kenya Navy, Kenya police and Kenya Ferry Services rescue boats acted swiftly and initiated a rescue mission alongside other multi agencies.
"The recovery operations is underway. Our heart, thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of the lost lives. We will keep updated on the progress of the recovery," Kenya Ferry stated.
Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho swiftly responded after the tragedy, stating that he had deployed a team from the county to collaborate with the multi-agency rescue team in conducting the rescue operation
"I immediately dispatched a unit from our inspectorate department to join the multi-agency rescue team in the ongoing operation. In the meantime, I urge ferry users and management to exercise extreme caution as we join the families of the occupants in the vehicle in prayer. We cannot afford to have any more casualties in a similar fashion more so when it can be avoided," he stated.
"As of now we cannot speak more on the matter, but we hope that the Government of Kenya in conjunction with Mombasa County Government conduct a timely rescue mission," Mombasa County Director of Communications Richard Chacha added while speaking to Kenyans.co.ke via phone.
The incident happened barely three months after the tragic September 29, Likoni incident which saw Mariam Kighenda and her 4-year-old daughter Amanda Mutheu plunge to their death.
In October 2019, President Uhuru Kenyatta fired all the board members at the Kenya Ferry Services in a bid to shore up safety measures at the busy crossing point.
On October 13, there was panic at the same crossing point after the controversial MV Likoni Ferry stalled mid-journey while full of helpless passengers.
On Monday, November 11, a Kenyatta University bus almost plunged into the ocean at the same area, after failing to clear the ramp while disembarking.
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