Liberia: Bodies Recovered From Sinking Vessel

The Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) says three bodies believed to be some of the missing persons from the local sinking vessel NIKO IVANKA that sunk over the weekend have been recovered.

"With a heavy [heart], we regret to announce that the lifeless bodies of 3 persons believed to be some of the missing persons from the vessel were found on the shores of Grand Cape Mount County (2 persons) and Marshall in Margibi County (1 person)," LiMA said in a release Thursday, 22 July 2021.

The LiMA release said the relevant government authorities have moved in to recover the bodies, adding that for the respect of the deceased and privacy for the affected families, their names are being withheld until the relevant government agencies contact the [bereaved families] shortly.

The release added that divers are being dispatched to the location where the vessel sunk to assess its hull and further search for any and all missing persons while modalities are being worked out to salvage any materials from the vessel.

Additionally, LiMA announced that the Incident Management Center (IMC) has been set up at the Monrovia Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination located on the Coast Guard Base, adding that the IMC consists of the members of the National Maritime SAR / Disaster Committee which were activated by LiMA Commissioner Eugene Nagbe, the National Search and Rescue Coordinator on July 20, 2021.

LiMA also informed the public that two numbers have been activated at the IMC for reporting purposes, which are 0777290158 and 0880753581.

Earlier on Sunday, 18 July, the Liberian Government through LiMA, the Ministry of National Defense, and the Armed Forces of Liberia Coast Guard informed the public that several persons were missing after the local vessel sank.

Following the sinking of the vessel, LiMA Commissioner-General Nagbe told reporters that there will be "a transparent and open investigation of the situation because there is a potential for loss of life and property."

The authorities announced the launch of a search and rescue operation, and also indicated that they had rescued 11 persons, but the number rose to 12 after another person was reported rescued the next day.

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