Boat Mishap: LASG warns against night travel on Lagos waterways

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…Rescue Operations On-Going

General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel on Monday condemned the activities of boat operators in the habit of flouting the order by the agency as it affects night operation which negate the law stakeholders are expected to adhere to.

In a statement signed by the General Manager as a fallout of the recent boat mishap on the night of Saturday, 29th June 2019, he confirmed the incident adding that three passengers have been rescued, seven found dead while others are still missing.

According to him, “the agency at about 11:20pm received a distress call that a 20 capacity unmarked passengers boat with 60″Hp engine capsized after being hit by several waves enroute Egbin jetty in Ijede ikorodu from a landing jetty in Badore Ajah axis of Lagos.

“On the spot investigation carried out by LASWA revealed that the incident was caused by poor visibility on the part of the captain and non wearing of life jackets by passengers.

“Unfortunately seven persons have been confirmed dead and their bodies have been handed to LASEMA. 3 survivors have been identified while search and rescue operations for the missing 10 persons is still ongoing” Emmanuel said.

He said rescue efforts is being carried out by the combined efforts of LASWA, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Lagos State Ambulance Services (LASAMBUS), Marine Unit of the Nigerian Police Force SEHMU and other relevant agencies.

Emmanuel added that this action by these agencies has led to the recovery of six dead bodies adding that recovery efforts will continue until those missing are found.

The LASWA boss warned that night travel has grave danger and boat operators have been severely advised to desist and not encourage late voyage due to the dangers inherent.

He also urged passengers to always ensure that they not only wear life jackets before embarking on any trip on the waterways but wear them properly to prevent loss of lives.

The State Government in conjunction with the Marine Police will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, adding that the operator of the boat would also be held accountable”, he said.

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Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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