The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) yesterday said one more body had been recovered, now making seven persons confirmed dead in a Saturday night boat mishap on Lagos waterway.
General Manager of the agency, Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, told newsmen that this was against the initial six people confirmed dead.
Emmanuel, who noted that rescue operations were still ongoing, said 10 persons were still missing, while three others survived.
He had said earlier that the boat mishap occurred mid-sea at about 11:00p.m. on Saturday, along Badore-Ijede route with only three survivors. “The agency at 11:20p.m. received a distress call that a 20-capacity unmarked passengers boat with 60″Hp engine capsized after being hit by several waves en route Egbin jetty in Ijede, Ikorodu from a landing jetty in Badore, Ajah axis of Lagos.
“An 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,” Emmanuel said.
The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has reiterated the need for passengers and boat operators to desist from night travelling and ensure all safety measures including proper use of life jackets are strictly adhered to, to prevent unnecessary loss of lives on the waterways.
Speaking with The Guardian on last weekend’s boat mishap, LASEMA Chief Executive Officer, Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyintolu, said eight bodies have been recovered – seven males and one female, with the rest still unaccounted for.
The LASEMA boss said search and rescue is still ongoing for the other missing persons yet to be found by officials of LASWA and Marine Police with support from the local divers, while community leaders as well as local fishermen in the area have been informed to avail the agency of any information through the emergency toll free line 112/767 to enhance total recovery of bodies.
Osanyintolu noted that despite the huge investment of the state government in encouraging water transportation and the need for citizens to explore water transportation as an alternative due to congestion on the roads; it is important for all passengers and boat operators to imbibe safety culture, and also comply with the rules and regulations of the regulatory bodies in charge of water transportation.