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Car wreckage retrieved from Likoni ferry channel hours after recovery of driver’s body

The car, maroon in colour, was retrieved shortly after 12pm just about three hours after search and rescue teams retrieved the body of its driver identified as 46-year-old John Mutinda/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 7 – A wreckage of a saloon car that plunged into the Indian Ocean after its driver reportedly speeded past the ramp a Likoni ferry has been retrieved.

The car, maroon in colour, was retrieved shortly after 12pm just about three hours after search and rescue teams retrieved the body of its driver identified as 46-year-old John Mutinda.

The incident, according to Kenya Ferry Services (KFS), occurred at around 4.20 am.

KFS Managing Director Bakari Gowa told the press the driver of the saloon defied instructions by a marshal at the Likoni ferry channel to stop.

In an earlier statement, KFS had said the driver of the ill-fated vehicle had purchased a ticket before speeding off to the ramps.

“After purchasing a ticket, the driver drove off to the ramps with high speed   to the ocean even after being flagged by our ramp controllers to slow down and stop,” the statement published at about 6.30 am indicated.

In his media briefing however, Gowa said the driver declined to purchase a ticket and forced his way down the ramp.

He said the wreckage had been traced 6 metres under the sea and assured it would be retrieved within three hours.

The incident came barely two months after a mother and her 4-year-old daughter drowned in the ocean after their car slid off an aging ferry during a routine crossing.

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The bodies of Mariam Kigenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu were retrieved on October 10 after a week-long search hampered by heavy rains and underwater currents.

Rescue teams deployed an underwater robot which tracked the exact location of the wreckage before it was pulled out.

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