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NIMASA says rescue efforts still on for possible survivors from vessel collision

 

The three crew members rescued after  vessel collision incident


The Nigerian Maritime Administration
and Safety Agency(NIMASA) on Monday said it was still on the rescue operation
for possible survivors from the vessels collision incident.

Ag. Director General of NIMASA, Mr
Haruna Baba Jauro, at a news conference in Lagos, said the agency was
investigating the cause of the accident involving MT Elixir and MT Tank on Oct
19.
He said that all vessels around the
area where the incident happened, had been asked to assist in continued search
and rescue operation, to ensure some people were not still trapped.
Jauro also said that naval officers had
been deployed to the area to guard against possible pirate attacks.
Speaking also, Mr Vincent Udoye,
Director, Maritime Safety and Seafarers Standards, said the rescue operation
was continuing because there had been such situations where some survivors were
rescued days later.
He dismissed insinuations in some
quaters that that NIMASA was not part of the rescue effort.
Udoye said the agency responded
immediately it received the distress alert, by sending signals to its zonal
office close to the area.
He said a vessel within the Bonga field
was able to pick up a survivor because it was close to the accident area and
had received the signal from them.
Udoye said NIMASA had asked MT Elixir,
which collided with MT Tank and ripping through it, thereby causing it to sink,
to assist with advanced divers to access the sunk wreck in the 1500 metre deep
water.
He, however, said that NIMASA had made
efforts to ensure settlement between both parties, adding that the agency was
not responsible for compensation in matters of casualties.
Mr Tosin Kolawole, the Managing
Director of Twinstomp Energy Ltd., owners of MT Tank, however, said that
besides the loss of their vessel, nine crew members were dead.
He said that while three of the crew
members were rescued, only one corpse was found, while the others remained
missing.
He said his company had yet satisfied
with the level of corporation given so far by NIMASA.
He said NIMASA should ensure a thorough
investigation by agencies of government saddled with the responsibility rather
than do a unilateral investigation.
Kolawole requested that the Police, the
Navy and possibly the Nigerian Army be involved in carrying out the
investigation.
He said that the foreign vessel, MT
Elixir, which is far bigger than the MT Tank, should not be allowed to sail out
of Nigerian waters until justice was done.
Recall that NIMASA had on Oct. 23 in a
statement, said its search and rescue team saved and rescued three crew members
and recovered one body from the collision incident.
It said the collision, involving MT
Elixir and MT Tank, occurred midstream about 65 miles from shore, just 10 nautical
miles south west of the Bonga FPSO near Warri.

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