A Capsize Boat
A danger of the highest level was averted when by the grace of God 24 passengers made up of men; women and children were rescued when two boats they were traveling in collided and capsized throwing the passengers overboard into the river.
The accident is said to have occurred at the Ojo area of Lagos state at about 7.45 P.M on Friday night the 25th of May, 2017. An eyewitness account said the accident occurred close to the Ojo Boat Terminal in Lagos and perhaps account for the quick intervention of safety agencies to rescue the drowning passengers.
The Managing Director of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) Mr. Damilola Emmanuel who confirmed the unfortunate incident revealed that one of the boats had 22 passengers full capacity while the other one was with only the boat captain and the deckhand on board.
A Rescue Mission in Progress
He said the patrol team at the Ojo terminal was called in to save the day when the accident occurred and commended them for their swiftness and professionalism in rescuing the passengers.
His statement read thus “one boat was going from Liverpool to Ojo while the other was doing a return trip from the same location. “LAWSA response team were able to rescue all passengers from the capsize boat and transported them to the shore, no lives were lost”
The affected boats namely (Toba Marine and Eco Lima) according to Mr. Emmanuel are currently under the custody of LAWSA pending the conclusion of investigations as to what happened.
Mr. Damilola Emmanuel
Re-iterating the need for the upholding of safety standards while undertaking trips in waterways he revealed that the safety jackets worn by the passengers made their rescued possible and the story would have been different if the safety Jackets were not worn.
“All passengers on both boats were all putting on their life safety Jackets. This is what we have been encouraging. Our agency has been at the forefront of leading campaign that for no reason should anyone embark on any journey on water without putting on a life jacket.
The LAWSA boss also revealed that “We have also gone a step further to distribute life jackets to encourage boat operators to enforce it” to this end about 1500 life jackets were distributed within 2017 and early part of 2018.