Passenger boat carried beyond its capacity, says NIWA on Badore-Ikorodu boat accident

… Arrests people involved in careless operation of boat

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) on Tuesday said investigations into the boat mishap on 29th June, 2019 on the Lagos Lagoon between Badore in Ajah(Eti – Osa Local Government Area) and Egbin (Ikorodu L.G.A) was primarily caused by over-loading of the boat.

The Lagos Area Office in a statement said that its investigations revealed that rather than carry 10 passengers according to its design and built, the unmarked fibre boat W19 with 60HP engine had 21 persons including men and women on board, and that none of them wore a life jacket.

In that regard, NIWA disclosed that it had already arrested all persons deemed culpable under extant laws, for prosecution in order to serve as a deterrent measure against future occurrences of such gross violations.

NIWA noted that “The jetty at Badore is a substandard jetty that has previously been sealed by the Authority.  It is owned and run by the Itom Community in Badore.

The boat capsized midway across the Lagoon most likely as a result of high tidal waves which was not helped by the boat being over loaded by twice its capacity as well as the fact that it was sailing at night making search and rescue efforts more difficult.

Following the incident, three (3) persons survived, ten (10) bodies were recovered, while eight (8) are still missing as at the time of this press release.  Co-ordinated rescue efforts and investigations are still ongoing.

Management of the National Inland Waterways Authority wishes to convey its deep condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the unfortunate incident, even as we pray that the Lord will give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable losses.

NIWA, therefore, used the opportunity to sound another strong warning to boat operators and passengers alike, over the need to observe and adhere to water travel extant rules and regulations.

The Authority said that the incident was another clear case where boat operators flagrantly violeted stipulated rules, and observed the following points that:

1.​Owners of the jetty are doubly culpable for operating an already sealed jetty at night.
2.​The operator is culpable for travelling at night, over – loading and the non-provision of life jackets.

3.​The passengers sadly boarded without life jackets despite the Authority’s sustained routine campaign of safety awareness at all the passenger jetties in the state.

NIWA has thus called on the general public and all stakeholders in water transportation in particular, to comply with all extant laws and regulations concerning water transportation in order to save lives and prevent needless and avoidable deaths on our waterways.