By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
At least, three dead bodies of the medical students involved in the boat mishap on Saturday June 24, 2023 in Calabar Waterways, have been recovered by operatives of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
Similarly, 11 co – travellers were rescued by the combined efforts of the Nigerian Navy (NNS Victory), community boat operators and NIWA rescue team.
Our correspondent gathered that the corpses of the students, made up of two from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and one from University of Uyo, were rescued in the early hours of Monday.
In a statement made available to New Nigerian Newspaper,the General Manager Corporate Affairs of the Agency Jibril Darda’u disclosed that investigation revealed that the mishap was caused by overloading.
The statement reads, ” We feel very sad to announce that NIWA’s search and rescue team recovered the 3 missing dead bodies of the medical students that were involved in the boat mishap on Saturday 24th June, 2023 in Calabar Waterways.
“:Report from our Area Manager in Calabar Engr. Stanley Onouha revealed that the Passport 19 Pleasure boat carrying 14 final year medical students capsized in Calabar Waterways. The Final year students were in Calabar for their annual conference.
” However, 11 persons were rescued by the combined efforts of the Nigerian Navy (NNS Victory), community boat operators and NIWA rescue team. The 3 missing dead bodies were recovered at the early hours of today. 2 (Two) from Ahamadu Bello University Zaria and 1 (One) from University of Uyo.
” Preliminary investigations revealed that the cause of the incident were overloading (The boat is supposed to carry a maximum of 9 passengers), engine malfunction midstream, a rainy weather and heavy turbulence that capsized the cruising boat.
” NIWA has since arrested the operators and sealed the Jetty as the boat is not duly registered with NIWA, and the Jetty also not approved by NIWA.
“:The 11 survivors were taken to hospital and they are now okay and discharged.
” We commiserate with the families, friends, loved ones and the Medical Students Association for the loss of the 3 students. We pray to God Almighty to grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss and may the gentle souls of the departed rest in peace