5 dead, 17 rescued from Ikorodu boat mishap – LASG

Lagos State government  yesterday said five of the 20 passengers and two crew members of a commercial boat belonging to the Bayeku Ferry Association travelling from Oke Ira Nla, Ajah to Bayeku in Ikorodu who were earlier rushed to a hospital, died while 17 others were rescued alive.

This was disclosed  by the Managing Director of Lagos State Waterways Authority, LASWA, Mrs Abisola Kamson.

She said upon receiving the notification of the accident, the authority’s water guards were immediately deployed to the scene to assist in rescue efforts.

Kamson said she later led a delegation of state officials including the Permanent Secretary, Local Government and Community Affairs, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, and the Baale of Baiyeku, Chief Saheed Aleje Ajibode to the site of the incident.

She confirmed that all passengers on board were wearing life jackets.

The LASWA boss said preliminary investigation by the Authority revealed that aside the mechanical fault that developed when the steering cable connected to the engine propeller cut, the captain of the boat was possibly also over-speeding, adding that he is presently being questioned by the Marine Police.

“The Lagos State Government in its drive to promote a multi-modal transport system, especially the movement of passengers, goods and services on its waterways will under no circumstances compromise safety standards and the protection of lives and property. As such we restate our commitment to the promotion of all safety measures and ensure that all operators comply with all safety standards in line with global best practices”, she said.

A survivor, Yusuf Adekoya told Vanguard  that the 20 passengers were mandated to wear life jackets but the boat was not in a good condition.

‘’Before we left Oke-Ira jetty, the engine could not start and the operator battled so much with it for about ten minutes. On noticing this, we advised him to change the boat but he assured us of safety.

On starting the engine, he sped off but minutes into the journey, the engine stopped working and this increased our apprehension and we started asking questions but he reluctantly broke the news that the engine was hooked.