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Rescue agencies yet to recover two bodies in Lagos boat mishap

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The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has said it has yet to recover the bodies of two persons involved in a boat accident at Irewe Community in Ojo, Lagos late on Tuesday.

Its General Manager, Mr. Emmanuel Oluwadamilola, told newsmen yesterday that rescue operation was still ongoing. “We have not recovered their bodies, though the search and rescue operations are still on by relevant state agencies and the local community, who were the first responders,” he said.

He said the unfortunate incident, which occurred at 6:10 p.m., involved two passenger speed boats having a head-on collision along the creek in Ojo Local Government area of Lagos. Oluwadamilola recalled that on Tuesday, 13 people were rescued in the incident, while three others were confirmed dead.

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He added that there were 10 passengers in a boat coming from Ojo Jetty and eight passengers in another one coming from Irewe community when the incident happened.

The LASWA general manager said that the yet-to-be recovered bodies include that of an adult and a child. Emmanuel, who frowned at the reckless disregard of safety regulations by some boat operators, said the authority would not relent on its efforts to ensure full compliance.

According to him, boat operators must desist from excessive speed and flouting of regulations, disclosing that preliminary investigations by LASWA and LASEMA revealed that the incident was caused by reckless driving and speeding on the part of the two boat captains.

Emmanuel said that one of the boat captains was not in his right way. He said further investigations would be carried out by the authority, adding that those found wanting will be sanctioned accordingly.

When The Guardian contacted Mr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) yesterday, he noted that despite the search and rescue efforts of relevant agencies throughout the day, the bodies of the missing adult and child were yet to be found but said they were not giving up hope yet and would continue the search today.

Chairman, Ojo Local Council Development Area, Baale, Jagun of Ijanikin and an official of the local council resident in Irewe, Nurudeen Oyefolu also told The Guardian that the boat mishap was caused by over speeding and recklessness of the operators. Oyefolu said the community had been cautioning the boat operators in the past on their recklessness but their pleas fell on deaf ears.

This accident is coming on the heels of another boat mishap that occurred last month around Egbin, Ikorodu, which claimed the lives of 17 passengers. The boat, which was coming from Ajah, capsized as a result of overloading.

Despite promises from relevant stakeholders and government agencies to sanitize the waterways, another mishap occurred on Tuesday.


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