3 Die As Passenger Boat Capsizes In Rivers
No fewer than three people were confirmed dead as a passenger boat carrying 12 persons from Abonnema to Idama community in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State capsized on Sunday (December 30th) night.
The immediate cause of the accident had not been established at time of this report.
A boat driver at the Abonemma-Idama jetty in Port Harcourt who gave his name as Davidson Briggs, and claimed to be part of those who received distress calls as soon as the accident happened, told our correspondent that he was among those who took part in the rescue of passengers, saying that when they got the information, they sped to the accident scene with two boats.
“When we got there, we found out that the boat was loaded with loud speakers, other goods, including 12 passengers. We were able to rescue 9 persons, including the loads. But three persons were not found that night.”
He also said that there was no evidence that the boat was loaded at the Abonemna wharf Jetty because the operators would have spotted the overloading and insisted that some passengers be dropped.
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The boat operator, Davidson Briggs, stated that although he could not say what might have caused the accident, but noted that from the quantity of goods and the human cargo, the boat was obviously overloaded.
Another plausible reason for the accident, he said, could be poor vision as the journey was already hitting the night.
Confirming the boat mishap, Nnamdi Omoni, DSP, and Spokesman of the Rivers State Police Command said: “A passenger boat loaded from Abonemma going to Idama in Akuku-Toru local government area capsized. Three persons were drowned and their bodies yet to be recovered as we speak. Rescuers are still battling to recover bodies of drowned passengers “.
“This is supposed to be a period of sober reflection but people get themselves indulged in excessive consumption of alcohol and misbehave.”
Rivers state witnessed a couple of fatal boat accidents in the out-going year of 2018, claiming lives of passengers principally due to excessive speeding, overloading, debris in the waterways and disobedience to basic safety standards.
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