Corps member, pregnant woman, four others drown in Bayelsa boat mishap - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Sunday, June 19, 2022

Corps member, pregnant woman, four others drown in Bayelsa boat mishap

By Editor

No fewer than six persons, including, a female corps member and a pregnant woman on Saturday reportedly drowned in a boat mishap along the waterways of Southern Ijaw in Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa State.

Others included a mother with her two kids and a 70 year old man.​ 

It was gathered that the ill-fated 75 horse power engine boat was en route to the riverside town of Ayama Ijaw from Otuan community, about ten minutes journey when the tragic incident occurred around 4pm.  

It was also learnt that the boat, which was carrying 13 passengers, rammed into a barrier while trying to berth close to Ayama due to violent storm and poor visibility.

Sources said, the passengers  covered themselves with tarpaulin  a practice during heavy downpour to shield themselves  from being drenched, a development that may  have caused the high casualties.

It was also learned that the boat driver, who survived the accident have been detained by the police unit in Ayama over alleged reckless driving.

An official of the maritime workers union, Otuan chapter, said preliminary investigations showed that the weather was bad and rain storm started. “ I was told a Corps member, two children and a woman among others died," he said.

However, the State Chairman of the Maritime Union, Ipigansi Ogoniba, said six persons have been confirmed missing and dead. 

He blamed the deaths resulting from mishap on the non-usage of the recommended safety life jacket by the passengers in the boats. 

According to him, it was a fault on the part of the driver of the boat, who was expected to ensure that every passenger entering the boat was provided with a life jacket before embarking on the journey. 

He therefore warned that henceforth any boat driver who flaunt the union's authority of "no life jacket for passengers, no movement" would be arrested by the police and dealt with.

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