Three persons were confirmed dead as a boat carrying 20 passengers capsized on the lagoon between Liverpool and Coconut Under Bridge in Lagos. The tragedy happened about 8.30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The ill-fated boat, which was enroute Ojo from Liverpool, capsized few minutes after it left the Coconut jetty. It was gathered that the boat collided with another wooden boat after it left in the dark.
According to a witness, immediately the incident occurred, 12 persons were rescued by officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA).
According to the General Manager of LASEMA, Mr. Adesina Tiamiyu, who confirmed the incident, the rescue team is still searching for five missing passengers in the lagoon, while the 12 rescued have been given proper medical attention.
Tiamiyu said: “Twelve of the passengers were rescued alive by the Lagos State Waterways Authority officials and local divers. Two males and one female were confirmed dead while search and rescue operation has been put on hold till the following day for the remaining five missing people.
“The three bodies have been bagged and handed over to the State Environmental Health Monitoring Unit (SEHMU) to be deposited at the morgue. The female victim, identified as Alhaja, was handed over to her family after proper documentation by the Marine police officers.”
Also confirming the incident, the General Manager of LASWA, Mr. Damilola Emmanuel, disclosed that the passenger boat named, God Bless, capsized mid-sea after colliding with a wooden water supply service boat. He assured that recovery effort would be sustained until those missing are found.
Emmanuel lamented that boat operators have a penchant for flouting the order of the agency to desist from plying the waterways at night due to the inherent dangers.
He advised passengers to be safety conscious by always wearing life jackets before embarking on any trip on the waterways. He also assured that proper and thorough investigation would be conducted by the state government in conjunction with the Marine Police into the incident.
“The operator of the boat would also be held accountable for the tragedy,” he said.