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River Niger Boat Mishap: NIWA Commiserates with families of victims, AGN

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River Niger Boat Mishap: NIWA Commiserates with families of victims, AGN

The management of the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA, has commiserated with the families of the victims and the Actors Guild of Nigeria over Wednesday’s boat mishap on the River Niger.

Junior Pope Obumneme Odonwodo, among other actors, died in the unfortunate incident.

This is just as the NIWA headquarters urged users of inland waterways to adhere to all the established safety protocols, including the completion of passenger manifest at the loading and offloading points as well as usage of life jackets on the waterways, avoid over speeding, and yield to weather dictates at all times.

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This is contained in a message of condolence made available to newsmen by the Ag General Manager (Marine) in Lokoja, Kogi State.

The statement also adds that the Marine Department of NIWA has activated its accident investigation mechanism with a view to determining the cause(s) of the accident and make appropriate recommendations.

The statement reads in part, “The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) noted with deep regret the unfortunate incident of a boat mishap which occurred yesterday, 11th April 2024, on the River Niger en route to Asaba in Delta state at about 1400hrs. The Authority commiserate with the families of the deceased persons and pray that the good Lord will repose the souls of the departed.

“Regrettably, the unfortunate accident involved an unregistered fiberglass boat with 12 persons on board and a privately owned wooden boat with a lone driver. Preliminary reports indicated that the accident resulted from a frontal collision between the two boats due to over speeding. Sadly, two people died at the scene of the accident, two more bodies were recovered 24 hours later off-site while 7 persons were rescued.

“Upon the receipt of the report of the accident through its community-based structure, the Authority deployed its search and rescue team to the scene for immediate rescue activities. This team and other stakeholders, including the local divers, swung into action and have continued the search and rescue effort since yesterday. As of the last count, one person is still unaccounted for. Also, the Marine Department of NIWA has activated its accident investigation mechanism with a view to determining the cause(s) of the accident and make appropriate recommendations.

“In the meantime, the Authority wishes to reiterate the need for all users of the inland waterways to, mandatorily, adhere to all the established safety protocols, including the completion of passenger manifest at the loading and offloading points, usage of life jackets on the waterways, avoid over speeding, and yield to weather dictates at all times.

Consequently, the Authority wishes to appreciate the Marine Police, local divers/fishermen, Maritime Unions, and other good-hearted Nigerians who rose to support the Authority in its rescue efforts. The National Inland Waterways Authority hereby assures all Nigerians of its continuous efforts at promoting safer inland waterways for the use of all”.

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