Tragedy again struck on in Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa state when a passenger boat capsized killing eight persons.
The boat was conveying passengers from Korokorosei to Ayama Ijaw , both in Southern Ijaw local government area.
Seven persons travelling from Otuan to Ayama were killed in the boat mishap that occurred over the weekend.
Our correspondent gathered that the passenger boat was conveying 12 passengers when it rammed into a local boat conveying garri from Yenagoa to Ayama.
It was said to be raining and the tarpaulin used to provide shetter for the passengers was said to have been blown up by the wind which covered the boat driver’s face and made him to hit a local boat causing the boat to capsize.
The state chairman of Maritime Union Workers Union, Mr. Ipigansi Ogoniba, who confirmed the accident in an interview said the accident was another avoidable tragedy.
“The accident occurred around 9 am. The boat was travelling from Korokorosei to Ayama Ijaw. It was raining so the boat driver covered the passengers with tarpaulin but unfortunately the passengers did not hold the tarpaulin well and the wind blew the tarpaulin which covered his face and he went to hit the local boat and the boat capsized.”
“The boat loaded 12 passengers and eight drowned while four were saved. Our rescue team rescued the four persons and took the empty boat to Oyoma,” he said.
Ogoniba lamented the failure of boat drivers to provide life jackets to passengers which is meant to save them from drowning.
According to him the union‘s rule states that no boat should sail without life jacket but unfortunately this rule is often violated.
He hinted that in the next coming days the union would synergise with its taskforce and security agencies to clamp down on boat drivers travelling without life jackets for passengers.
” We found out that boat drivers normally do not give life jackets. We condemned the act of no life jacket.”
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