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Passenger boat carried beyond its capacity, says NIWA on Badore-Ikorodu boat accident

… Arrests people involved in careless operation of boat

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA)
on Tuesday said investigations into the boat mishap on 29th June,
2019 on the Lagos Lagoon between Badore in Ajah(
Eti – Osa Local Government Area)
and Egbin (Ikorodu L.G.A) 
primarily caused by over-loading of the boat.

The Lagos Area Office in a statement said that its investigations revealed
rather than carry 10 passengers according to its design and built, the unmarked
fibre boat W19 with 60HP engine had 21 persons including men and women
on board, and that none of them wore a life jacket.
In that regard, NIWA disclosed that it had
already arrested all persons
deemed culpable under extant laws, for
prosecution in order to serve as a deterrent measure against future occurrences
of such gross violations.
NIWA noted that “The jetty
at Badore is a substandard jetty that has previously been sealed by the
Authority.  It is owned and run by the Itom Community in Badore.
The boat capsized midway
across the Lagoon most likely as a result of high tidal waves which was not
helped by the boat being over loaded by twice its capacity as well as the fact
that it was sailing at night making search and rescue efforts more difficult.
Following the incident,
three (3) persons survived, ten (10) bodies were recovered, while eight (8) are
still missing as at the time of this press release.  Co-ordinated rescue
efforts and investigations are still ongoing.
Management of the National
Inland Waterways Authority wishes to convey its deep condolences to the
families of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident, even as we
pray that the Lord will give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable losses.
NIWA, therefore, used the opportunity
to sound another strong warning to boat operators and passengers alike, over
the need to observe and adhere to water travel extant rules and regulations.
The Authority said that the incident was
another clear case where boat operators flagrantly violeted stipulated rules, and
observed the following points that:
1.​Owners of the jetty are doubly culpable for operating an already
sealed jetty at night.
2.​The operator is culpable for travelling at night, over – loading and
the non-provision of life jackets.
3.​The passengers sadly boarded without life jackets despite the
Authority’s sustained routine campaign of safety awareness at all the passenger
jetties in the state.
NIWA has thus called on the general
public and all stakeholders in water transportation in particular, to comply
with all extant laws and regulations concerning water transportation in order
to save lives and prevent needless and avoidable deaths on our waterways.

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