Three die in boat mishap in Rivers

Three die in boat mishap in Rivers

Three persons lost their lives at the weekend on Soku-Abonnema waterways when two boats they were travelling in collided.

Eyewitnesses said that the incident occurred when two boats, one coming from Soku and the other on its way from Abonnema, collided against each other at night.

Reacting to the mishap, the Caretaker Committee Chairman (CTC) of Akoku-Toru Local Government Area, Tonye Alalibo, in confirming said that he has set up a four- man panel of inquiry to investigate the incident.

Alalibo took the decision shortly after holding a meeting with maritime operators and workers saying that the four-man panel would liaise with security agencies to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the incident.

Members of the committee are, Hon. Iyen Briggs (chairman); Jack Lloyd Thomas, (member); Dogoye Dokubo (member) and a representative of Marine Police, Inspector Noel Dengi.

The committee is mandated to find out those who lost their lives in the accident; contact of the families of the deceased; and other loses sustained in the cause of the accident.

The committee is expected to submit its report to the CTC chairman on or before March 17, 2017.

Alalibo also threatened to sanction boat drivers who ply the waterways at night as well as those who operate without adherence to laid down rules of marine transportation.

The CTC chair said: “The accident occurred between two boats which claimed the lives of some passengers: one ferrying passengers from Soku to Abonnema, and the other carrying passengers from Abonnema to Soku in the night.”

He also stated that: “Henceforth, all boat drivers operating in Akoku-Toru local government area are directed as follows: all passengers must be provided with life-vest; all drivers must ensure that all passengers on-board must put on their life-vest before embarking on the journey; no operator must convey passengers to any destination at night except in cases of emergency and the journey must be cleared with security agencies.”

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