Saturday, 3rd June 2023

70 year- old-man, corps member, pregnant woman, others drown in Bayelsa boat mishap  

By Julius Osahon, Yenagoa
21 June 2022   |   3:24 am
A female corps member, a pregnant woman and five others were reported drowned in a boat mishap in Bayelsa waterways.

An overloaded boat with passengers not wearing life jackets recently in Lagos<br />

A female corps member, a pregnant woman and five others were reported drowned in a boat mishap in Bayelsa waterways.

The incident, which occurred on Saturday between Otuan and Ayama communities of Southern Ijaw Local Council of Bayesla has thrown the communities into mourning.
Among the victims were; a mother with her two kids and a 70 year- old Otuan Chief and father to a journalist in the state, Chief Lucky Daniels.​
The Guardian gathered that the 15-passenger capacity boat rammed into a barrier, while trying to berth close to the Ayama community.
It was gathered that the afternoon rainstorm, which made all the passengers cover themselves with tarpaulin and reduced visibility may have contributed to the disaster.
A journalist and son to one of the victims of the accident, Mr. Domo Timi said: “My father was involved and rescue teams have been dispatched to check the scene for possible rescue”. He expressed confidence that more passengers will be rescued as most of them were putting on life jackets.
The elected Chairman of the Maritime Union in Otuan Community, Joseph Shedrack, told newsmen that the boat driver, Lucky Christopher, who survived the accident had been detained by the police in Ayama for alleged reckless driving.
He said: “I was chairman of the Union but some persons who claimed to know more than themselves have been taking charge of the Otuan Unit. If I had been around, I would not have allowed the loading of the boat due to poor visibility and bad weather.”
The state chairman of the Maritime Union, Ipigansi Ogoniba, however told newsmen that six persons have been confirmed missing and dead.
On the identity of the corps member involved in the disaster, Comrade Ogoniba said the authorities of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) had been contacted through the Community Liaison Officer (CLO).
Contacted, the State Public Relations Officer of the NYSC, Mathew Ngobua, confirmed the accident, saying they are making efforts to identify the corps member. He said: “We got the information and the state Coordinator and other staff left the Orientation camp and went to the place.
“The State Coordinator  told me that the corps member’s name is said to be on the passenger manifest and she is not at the corpers’ lodge.
“The NYSC will make an official brief when the body is sighted and properly identified.” Spokesperson for Bayelsa State Police Command, Asinim Buatswat, also confirmed the incident but said he is yet to be properly briefed on the number of casualties and what led to the accident.