Barely 72 hours after two passengers died in a boat accident in Ikorodu, sixteen passengers and a boat rider are missing following another boat mishap which occured along the Mile 2/ Ojo creek in Lagos, last night.
According to a press statement obtained by the News Diet and signed by the Lagos Area Manager, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Engr. Sarat Braimah, a Search and Rescue team of NIWA, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) and Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) are still in search of the victims.
The report stated that, “At about 7.45pm yesterday July 8th, 2022, the National Inland Waterways Authority and Lagos State waterways authority received a distress call of an incident on the waterways.”
“A W19 passenger fibre boat carrying 16 people people capsized along the Ojo area of the state.”
“The Boat going from Mile 2 to Ibeshe in Ojo axis broke the waterways rules of late travelling by setting sail at 7.45pm. As they set out, the tide of the water drifted the boat to a stationary barge which caused the boat to overturn. It is said that all passengers on board which includes children were not all putting on their life jackets.”
The search reportedly commenced with a combined team of NIWA, LASWA and LASEMA mobilized to the scene of the incident but could only find the boat after several hours while efforts are still ongoing to locate the victims.
Although the boat is currently in the custody of Marine Police, the Boat Captain is also unaccounted for as at the time of this press release.
Recall that in a separate boat mishap on Wednesday, two female passengers of a 20-seater boat which departed Ipakodo ferry terminal in Ikorodu were confirmed dead after the boat capsized almost immediately after take-off.
In a statement signed by the General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Oluwadamilola Emmanuel on Wednesday, 15 occupants of the capsized boat were however rescued alive.
It should be noted that the waterway regulatory authority, NIWA, has banned night travel and early hours voyages, in a bid to curb accidents which result from poor visibility at such hours.