By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Following the boat accident that occurred at Ikorodu on Friday which claimed several lives, the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) has vowed to deal with erring boat operators and passengers.
This was contained in a release made available to our correspondent by the Public Relations Officer of the Agency, Nkechi Ajayi at the weekend.
The boat accident occurred at about 8 pm on the 3rd of July 2020 along ikorodu channel of the Lagos waterways.The operator of the ill-fated boat took off illegally at about past 8 pm at Ebute and headed to Ikorodu.
The boat was said to have run into an under growth, leading to its capsize where six people lost their lives and one missing as 14 persons were rescued.
“The State Inland Waterways Authority, LASWA has issued a strong statement warning all Ferry Operators and passengers against violating the laid down rule of No Night travelling on the waterways.
“It was gathered that a 20- passenger capacity commercial ferry with 20 passengers on board took off illegally from Èbúté Ẹrọ jetty at about few minutes past 8pm heading towards Ikorodu and ran into an unforeseen object on the Waterways, causing the boat to capsize.” As at the time of this report, 14 passangers have been rescued alive, six fatalities and one person still missing and being searched for.
“It was not clear if all the passengers were wearing proper life jackets when the boat took off after the daily closure of movements on the inland Waterways.
“Meanwhile, the Lagos State Waterways Authority LASWA has sent a strong note of warning to all ferry Operators and their passengers to desist from travelling on the waterways after 6 pm.The agency warned that any operator who violates this very important instruction would henceforth be arrested by the Marine Police and boat confiscated while those passengers on board such boat shall also be prosecuted in accordance with the relevant laws.
“Investigation is still ongoing as at the time of filing this report,” the statement concluded.