One person yesterday died, with 19 others rescued from a boat mishap, which occurred in Oworonshoki end of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos State.The Managing Director of the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, who confirmed the mishap in a statement, said 19 persons were rescued alive by the agency, while one of the passengers on board the boat was unfortunately lost.
The passenger boat, identified as SEALINK, was said to be travelling from Ikorodu to CMS when the incident occurred around 9:30a.m. in Oworonshoki after hitting a submerged object.
Emmanuel said the 19 persons rescued have been taken to Ebute Ero Jetty from where they were transferred to the hospital, while further investigations on the cause of the accident were still ongoing.
"The LASWA emergency response team, with joint efforts of the Marine Police and the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) recovered a female body (identified as a police officer attached to Zone Two police station) and handed over the body to the Marine Police. Her husband is an official of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).
"The submerged SEALINK boat has been salvaged and towed to a secure location off the waterways. Operation is also taking place to get the submerged wooden boat off the navigable channel," the LASWA boss said.
While commiserating with the family of the deceased, Emmanuel assured that the state government would not relent in coming up with policies and programmes aimed at ensuring safety on the waterways. The boat was conveying 21 passengers when it capsized. An eyewitness immediately called the Marine Police, which immediately deployed seven boats to the scene.
RRS helicopters got the coordinates and mobilized to the scene, leading to the quick rescue of 19 passengers and recovery of the body of a woman passenger, whose husband was rescued in the incident. The passenger who lost her life in the mishap was said to have sunk with the carcass of the boat.
Meanwhile, the police have arrested the conductor of the boat after the driver abandoned the passengers and ran away from the scene of the incident. The arrested conductor has been taken to the Marine Police Office in Keffi, Obalende, Lagos. The boat has equally been recovered and taken to Marine Police yard.