16 Fear Dead In Boat Accident In Lagos

At Least More  than 16 passengers are feared dead after their boat capsized around Mile 2 area of Lagos State.According to Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) said that at about 7.45p.m., on Friday, it received a distress call of an incident on the waterways, which later revealed that a W19 passenger Fibre boat carrying 16 people capsized along the Ojo area of the state.Reports also said that all passengers on board, which included children, did put on their life jackets.

Information reaching us said that Search and Rescue team of the LASWA, National Inland Waterways (NIWA) Nigerian Marine Police and the State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) were immediately mobilised to the scene but unfortunately, could only find the boat after several hours, while efforts were still ongoing to locate the victims.

LASWA disclosed that the boat is currently in the custody of Marine Police, while the boat captain was also unaccounted though four bodies have so far  been recovered.

Further information revealed that NIWA, Lagos area office, has begun search for the captain of boat and had declared him wanted. But, a source the captain might have drowned.

According to our source, the boat carried 21 passengers and not 16 as reported. He said the driver took off from the wooden jetty at Mazamaza.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State government has vowed to enforce safety measures and go after substandard boat operators.

Speaking the General Manager, LASWA, Damilola Emmanuel, said while consoling the victims’ families.  He disclosed that  his agency had done so much to reduce cases of boat mishaps to the barest minimum.

Part of the safety measures was the Search and Rescue Unit, which was established to fully deal with incident operations in the different locations to improve response time during emergencies.

Emmanuel speaking further disclosed that with the huge potential of water transportation in the state, the government was doing all it could to ensure that the sector was not only viable, but also safe as well as ready to come down hard on any operator, who endangers the lives of people while operating in the sector.

He admonished passengers on the waterways to be safety-conscious always.

“The life jacket can save you. Buy your own life if you must. Inspect the life jackets that you are given and make sure it does not have holes or is torn. Avoid night travels. Safety consciousness is a collective responsibility, if you see something unusual on the Waterways, say it,” he concluded

 

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