Veteran Swedish diver Volker Bassen will not be part of Likoni recovery mission starting Saturday.
Speaking on Friday after failing to retrieve bodies of Mariam Kighenda and her daughter, Amanda Mutheu within hours as he promised, Bassen said he will leave the country on Saturday hence will not continue with the search mission.
He requested Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) to suspend ferry services for an hour on Friday night so that he can dive to a spot he believed the vehicle of the victims was. His request was not granted.
“Tomorrow [Saturday, October 5], I will be travelling out of Kenya hence I won’t be able to take part in the subsequent search operation,” he told K24 Digital.
Earlier, Bassen had promised to complete the mission within hours giving hope to the family.
"This is nothing that we haven't experienced before in Kenya, by the end of the day we actually have the world record when it comes to altitude diving and recovering bodies. Not many people know this because it is nothing that we talk about," Bassen said during an interview with KTN.
His departure will dwindle the hopes of some family members who thought his inclusion in the operation could answer their prayers. Mariam Kighenda's mother-in-law was hopeful that Bassen would retrieve the bodies.
"These are my children and yesterday we got reports that there is a diver who has volunteered and he's called Volker Bassen. We have been praying and we are grateful (Hawa ni watoto wangu na jana tulipata habari ya kuwa kuna mpiga mbizi ambaye amejitolea anaitwa Volker Bassen na tumekuwa tukiomba na tunashukuru sana)," Jackline Wafula said.