Boat mishap: Commissioner reads riot act to ferry operators

The Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, has cautioned ferry operators against breaking laid down safety guidelines on waterways, including avoidance of night travels.

Oladeinde made this known when he visited the scene of Friday night‘s boat mishap in Ikorodu, according to a statement signed by Mrs Bolanle Ogunlola, the Head of Public Affairs, Ministry of Transportation, Lagos State.

The commissioner said that strict adherence to the rules and guidelines would prevent re-occurence of such an accident.

“If the rule of no night travelling on the waterways – from 6.00p.m. – had been strictly adhered to by operators, the accident could have been averted.

“The avoidable boat mishap occurred after a 20-passenger capacity commercial ferry with 21 passengers on board took off illegally from Èbúté Ẹrọ Jetty at  past 8.00p.m. heading toward Ikorodu.

“The ferry ran into an unforeseen object on the waterways, causing the boat to capsize.

“Rescue efforts deployed saved 16, five died, with one survivor in critical condition,” Oladeinde said.

According to him, the rescue operations were carried out by Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) Search Party, local boat operators search team, Marine Police and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA).

The commissioner, who commiserated with the families of the dead passengers, gave the assurance that the violators would be prosecuted.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that on Friday, a-20 capacity passenger boat with the name “Lalek Marine” was said to have left Ebute Ero Jetty at 8.00p.m. and did not arrive at its destination – Ikorodu Terminal.

On June 23, a boat with four adult males on a boating expedition capsized due to water turbulence.

Three of the passengers were rescued alive while one got missing.

Earlier on June 18, LASWA had celebrated zero records of boat mishap in the last six months in the state waterways. (NAN)