By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Three students have been reported dead at Ibeno Beach in Mkpanak community in Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The deceased, suspected to be students of Grammar Secondary School in Ukpenekang were said to have gone to the beach to a take a bath in the early hours of last Saturday after returning from a cross country exercise embarked upon by the school.
Sources said they were drowned at about 6 am after jumping into the beach to take a bath at the end of the cross country exercise only to be swept away by the tide of the ocean.
Mr. Samuel Christopher identified as the Task Force Chairman of the Beach said that he was attracted to the beach that morning when he saw unusual crowd gathering at the there mourning and lamenting over the unfortunate incident.
According to Mr. Christopher who confirmed the death of the students, the high tide from the ocean returned the corpse of one of the victims, about 18 years old girl before noon that Saturday while others, both males were later found floating the following day.
Their remains, he added were buried by the sea side according to the tradition by families of the deceased.
He lamented that no life guards are on standby for rescue at the beach in the case of accident of such, adding that fun seekers coming to catch fun at the beach do so at their own risks.
Saturday’s incident he added, has brought to a total number of 10 persons who loss lives at the beach in the last one year.
According to him, both local and state government have abandoned the beach with no safety measures, stressing that unless these measures were provided there, more casualties will continue to occur.
“The students that drowned were among a team of students who went on road walk in the early hours of the morning. While some of them went home, others went to the beach to swim because I saw them with flags. I am suspecting they were students of Grammar School in Ukpenekang.
“The incident happened around 6 am because I went to the beach at about 7 am and saw a crowd of people gathered there. Unfortunately, the incident happened in the morning when no one was around to rescue them.
“I suspect the victims entered the water hoping that they were safe, even when they did not know how to swim but unfortunately for them, they were carried away by the high tide of the sea”, Mr. Christopher said.