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Likoni Tragedy: Meet the Kenyan volunteer divers winning hearts 

 

They are known as the Kenya rescue divers, a team formed after the Mtongwe Ferry disaster of April 29, 1994, in which 271 people died.

Moses Owaga leads the team of volunteer divers doing their best in search and rescue efforts with out support from the government.

53-year-old tall volunteer driver years ago he left his job as a seafarer to save lives. And he has saved many people from drowning and retrieved wreckage. He was diving at the site of the Nakuru plane crash that claimed five lives.

Today the father of four survives on menial jobs.

“I do this out of passion. No one can pay my team and me enough for the risks we take. I started swimming when I was 10 years old. ”

He has now been called on by the Sono Rescue Team to help retrieve the bodies of the two Likoni Ferry Tragedy.

 

The two have been identified as Mariam Kighenda, 35, and her daughter Amanda Mutheu, 4.

kenya rescue divers

On Sunday evening, their Toyota ISIS KCB 289C veered off the rear ramp aboard the MV Harambee and sank into the ocean headfirst.

The car plunged 60 metres deep but available machines, according to some sources, can last divers for only half the depth.

“We have stayed here since yesterday night. Nobody is talking to us. Our sister’s body is deep in the water while officials are just holding endless meetings,” said Catherine Wanjala, the deceased’s sister.

Family members and friends camped on the Island side of the Likoni crossing channel to witness rescue operations that never were.

The Star learnt that Wambua had to seek services of a renowned diver known as Musa to retrieve the bodies. Early in the morning, he sat alone at the shores of the ocean helplessly staring into the void that had presumably suddenly engulfed his heart.

He was occasionally hugged by relatives, but he seemed too engrossed in thoughts to notice them. Occasionally, he would seem strong and composed and would engage some people in short conversations before suddenly bursting into tears. The grief had been escalated by the fact that the rescue operation had yet to start.

kenya divers rescue

Picture courtesy Charles Mghenyi

Here are reactions from KOT about his efforts
@osanare..
This government awards mediocre, wanafaa wajue kajiado ni semi arid, hakuna oceans
@SaidKaran1..
The government has really disappointed 😣 many civil servants. It’s time we embrace meritocracy not by long speeches but by a way of deliberate effort of placing talent and expertise in their correct positions. I rest my case!
@Brayoehngetich..
This guy should open his private diving company. Somebody help him. At cheploch in kabarnet we have super divers who he can employ on others also around the country.

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