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.