Friday, November 23, 2007

Puzzling mix-up as missing pilot’s ordeal ends.

There’s relief all round that after eight days in the forests of Mt. Kenya, the KWS crash pilot has been ‘found’ and is presently recuperating at a Nairobi hospital with only a few broken bones.

Contrary to the anonymous comments on my earlier post about this unfortunate accident, my intention was not to discredit our armed forces and the rescue mission. Just a little cold water to stir them out of their lackluster action. As anonymous rightly pointed out, this was a man’s life at stake here. And to me, seven days is a rather long time for a properly trained force to come back empty handed from a rescue mission in a non-combat situation. Rough terrain? Are these not the same jungles in which they undertake some of their training? Ineptitude is ineptitude even if you decide to call it bad weather or rough terrain. Any wonder that the British army had to be called in to assist? And thanks to some slow thinking, a Safaricom team was finally asked to join the search mission, several days after they made it known that they had picked up signals from the lost major’s cell phone.

Grateful as we are that the pilot has been found alive, his colleagues continued to soil their bungling image by issuing strange contradictory statements upon the injured man’s arrival in Nairobi. One spokesman says the pilot found and walked his way to a forest station from where the rescuers picked him. The KWS director says the pilot was found at the crash scene! Who is down playing whose efforts and why?

Are these men getting appropriate training???

Best wishes to the retired but upbeat Major who says he’s hoping to be back in the skies as soon as he leaves hospital. A lesson on determination and tenacity. Although I think two drops from the skies in three years is not stuff for anyone’s CV.

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