Family to plant banana after ‘failed’ search of son’s body

A banana stem will be planted on the shores of Lake Nakuru as a sign of farewell to two victims of a helicopter crash whose bodies have not been retrieved.

Divers have failed to retrieve the bodies of Sam Gitau and John Mapozi since the tragedy occurred in October last year.

Five people died in the crash. The bodies of pilot Apolo Malowa, Antony Kipyegon and Veronica Muthoni were all retrieved.

The family of Gitau said they will hold a mass on the shore of the lake and plant a banana stem there as is required by tradition.

“It’s unfortunate that the body of our beloved son cannot be found. Our hopes of finding him have turned into frustration. But we are still praying for a miracle to happen,” Gitau’s aunt Elizabeth Njeri said.Divers from Lake Naivasha urged the families not to lose hope. They said the search for the two bodies was still on.

The wreckage of the helicopter was pulled from the water in December. It was 70 per cent intact.

It was found lying 5.4 metres deep at about two kilometres from the western end of the lake. It was hoped that the two bodies would be found in the wreckage. Lake Naivasha Boat Owners Association chairman David Kilo said the search mission has been left to local divers and the Kenya Wildlife Service in Nakuru.

Only one boat is patrolling the expansive lake in search of the bodies. Kilo accused the Nakuru county government of not helping in the search.

“We have tried all possible means to get in touch with the governor over the rescue mission to no success,” Kilo said.

National Disaster Operation Centre officer Jonathan Kertich said the search for the bodies will continue until they are retrieved. He attributed the delay to murky waters.

Author: STN News

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