Boat mishap: NIWA condoles Actors Guild of Nigeria, families of victims

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By Thompson Yamput

Lokoja, April 11, 2024 (NAN) The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has conveyed its deepest regret over the unfortunate boat mishap which claimed four lives on Wednesday .

This is contained in a condolence message by Dakio Horsfall, the Acting General Manager (Marine) of the authority, on Thursday in Lokoja.

The management of the authority condoled the Actors Guild of Nigeria and the families of the victims over the losses.

The mishap reportedly involved two boars on the River Niger en route to Asaba in Delta State at about 14:00 P.M. on Wednesday.

The accident, which involved an unregistered fiberglass boat with 12 persons on board and a privately owned wooden boat with a lone driver, left four persons dead, while seven others rescued.

Horsfall said: “Preliminary reports indicated that the accident resulted from a frontal collision between the two boats due to over speeding.

“Sadly, two people died at the scene of the accident, two more bodies were recovered 24 hours later off-site, while 7 persons were rescued.

“Consequently, the Authority commiserates with the families of the deceased persons and pray that the good Lord will repose the souls of the departed”.

He said that upon the receipt of the report of the accident through its community-based structure, the NIWA deployed its search and rescue team to the scene for immediate rescue activities.

According to him, the team and other stakeholders including the local divers, swung into action and have continued the search and rescue effort since Wednesday.

“As of the last count, one person is still unaccounted for.

“Also, the Marine Department of NIWA has activated its accident investigation mechanism with a view to determining the cause(s) of the accident and make appropriate recommendations,” he said

The manager stressed the need for all users of the inland waterways to, mandatorily, adhere to all the established safety protocols, including the completion of passenger manifest at the loading and offloading points.

“The usage of life jackets on the waterways is mandatory, avoiding over speeding, and yielding to weather dictates, at all times,” he said.

Horsfall commended the Marine Police, local divers/ fishermen, Maritime Unions and other good-hearted Nigerians who rose to support the Authority in its rescue efforts.

“Nevertheless, NIWA hereby assures all Nigerians of its continuous efforts aimed at promoting safer inland waterways for the use of all”.. (NAN)

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