The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) says 11 of the recovered bodies of the victims of Saturday’s boat accident have been claimed by their families, while the Ijede/Egbin community took possession of one corpse.
The General Manager of LASWA, Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, who confirmed the claims, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday that five bodies, however, had yet to be recovered.
The LASWA boss said: “11 bodies have since been claimed by their families and the community took possession of one corpse.
“The dead are not buried by the side of the river but taken away by their relatives or deposited at the morgue of the General Hospital if not claimed.”
Mr Emmanuel added that the captain of the boat also didn’t survive, saying that his remains had since been recovered.
He said LASWA, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), the Lagos State Ambulance Services (LASAMBUS) and the Nigeria Police had intensified efforts to recover the remaining bodies.
According to him, an on the spot investigation carried out by LASWA revealed that neither the captain nor the passengers were wearing life jackets.
Mr Emmanuel said the investigations by LASWA on the tragedy revealed that the accident was caused by poor visibility and the fact that the passengers had no life jackets.
“LASWA has stationed Water Guards on all state-owned and approved jetties to ensure that both passengers and boat operators follow the set safety standards.
“LASWA also carries out bi-annual inspections on boats, regular monitoring of the waterways to ensure compliance and distribution of life jackets to further ensure the safety of all stakeholders on the waterways.
“The Agency cannot overemphasise the issue of safety compliance on the waterways.
“Passengers are encouraged to be observant of the boats they board, insist on the captain providing life jackets and report any case of misconduct either by boat operators or passengers.
“What we know is that it was an unmarked boat that was overloaded,” he added.
According to him, water guards work from sunrise to sunset.
The 20-passenger capacity unmarked boat with a 60″ Hp engine capsized on June 29, after being hit by severe waves en route Egbin Jetty in Ijede at Ikorodu, near Lagos State.
The boat started its journey from a jetty at Badore, near Ajah on the eastern flank of Lagos State.
The boat mishap occurred mid-sea at 11. 00 p.m. on the Badore-Ijede sea route with only three survivors.