By Kazeem Ugbodaga
There was another boat tragedy on Wednesday night in Lagos. Three people died, five are still missing. However, 12 were rescued by Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) and Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA).
General Manager of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Mr. Damilola Emmanuel who confirmed the incident, said the agency, at about 7:30pm received a distress call that a 20-capacity passenger boat with 18 passengers and two crew members had capzised mid-sea enroute Ojo from Coconut jetty, a suburb in Lagos
He said an on the spot investigation carried out by LASWA revealed that the incident was caused by a collision between the passenger boat operated by “God Bless” and a wooden water supply service boat.
“Unfortunately three persons were confirmed dead and their bodies have been deposited in the morgue, while 12 persons were rescued alive and five persons are missing,” Emmanuel said.
He said rescue efforts were carried out by the combined efforts of the LASWA, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Lagos State Ambulance Services (LASAMBUS), SEHMU which led to the timely rescue of 12 passengers, adding that recovery efforts will continue until those missing have been found.
The LASWA boss, however, expressed concern that boat operators were in the habit of flouting the order by the agency to desist from operating at night due to the dangers inherent.
He also urged passengers to always ensure that they wear life jackets before embarking on any trip on the waterways and ensure they are worn properly to prevent loss of lives.
He said the State Government in conjunction with the Marine Police conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, adding that the operator of the boat would also be held accountable.