17 feared dead in Lagos boat mishap
A boat mishap, which occurred at the weekend in Ipakan boat jetty, Egbin, Ikorodu area of Lagos State, has left 17 persons feared dead after being declared missing in the aftermath of a boat capsize on Saturday night.
Two bodies were recovered and three persons were rescued. It was gathered that the accident occurred due to overloading of the boat and night travelling.
The boat was en route Badore in Ajah with 21 passengers on board. Witnesses and rescue officials said the boat was overturned by a heavy current. Three persons were rescued by the combined efforts of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) and were taken to a nearby hospital.
The body of a woman, identified as Aniyikaye Oluwaseunfunmi, aged 40 and an unnamed person were found and bagged by the rescue team, while rescue and recovery efforts were still ongoing as at the time of filing in this report yesterday.
The incident was said to have occurred at 7:38p.m. on Saturday, after the boat left Badore Terminal in Ajah for Egbin Jetty in Ijede. The boat, which had about 20 passengers onboard, was said to have been hit by several waves, which made it to capsize, thereby emptying all passengers into the lagoon.
Three of the passengers swam to safety while the others didn’t make it. As at 9:00a.m. yesterday, a body was pulled out from the lagoon after hours of search. One of the people in the crowd confirmed it was his wife, who was onboard the ill-fated boat.
When contacted, the Lagos General Manager of NIWA, Muazu Sambo, explained that preliminary investigations revealed that the passengers were not wearing life jackets as at the time of the boat mishap.
He said: “I am tired of the behaviour of passengers in most of our jetties. Many deliberately refuse to put on life jackets when given. The Ikorodu accident revealed that many didn’t have life jackets on. Aside not wearing life jackets, the boat ride occurred at night despite our ban on night trips for ferry operators.”
Meanwhile, the Majority Leader of the Lagos House of Assembly, Sanai Agunbiade, has expressed sadness over the boat mishap. Agunbiade in a post on his Facebook page, explained that the news about the boat mishap left him with a heavy heart and sadness.
While sympathizing with the people of Ijede, and the families of those involved, the lawmaker who is representing Ikorodu Constituency I, disclosed that investigation has commenced by appropriate authorities in the state.