Boat Mishap: Two Lagos agencies issue conflicting casualty figures

A body recovered after the boat accident at Ikorodu [PHOTO CREDIT: Lagos State government]
A body recovered after the boat accident at Ikorodu [PHOTO CREDIT: Lagos State government]

In the wake of the boat mishap that occurred at Ikorodu on Friday night, two Lagos State agencies involved in the rescue operations, the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), issued conflicting casualty figures, PREMIUM TIMES can report.

While LASWA’s figures said five persons died, 14 rescued and two missing; LASEMA said six passengers died, seven rescued and nine still missing.

At the end of rescue operations on Sunday, LASEMA updated its figures to seven dead and 14 rescued.

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted both agencies for clarification on the casualty figures’ discrepancies, both of them told this newspaper to stick to their figures.

the spokesperson of LASEMA, Nosa Okunbor, and the General Manager of LASWA, Oluwadamilola Emmanuel on the discrepancies between the released figures, both agencies told this newspaper to stick to their figures.

“What we have is what we have come out with,” Nosa Okunbor, the LASEMA spokesperson told PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday.

“We have six dead, all adult females including a just-graduated student, seven lives rescued and nine missing. Out of the nine people, seven are passengers and the remaining two people are the pilot and the assistant.”

“We had to pause the operation as at 6:20 p.m. because of nightfall and the incessant rain. I wonder where LASWA got their figures because we are the ones that have the divers, local ones, and the LASEMA rescue team from Lekki.”

But Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, the LASWA general manager, insisted that PREMIUM TIMES should stick with the figures released by his agency.

“The LASWA’s figure is what you should stick to, whether LASEMA told…I don’t want to get into any discussion but just stick to whatever LASWA gives you.”

When asked about the discrepancies in the figures released, Mr Emmanuel reinforced that the figure from his agency should be followed.

LASWA is the regulatory agency for waterway operations, it ensures compliance to the maximum number of passengers in a boat and that the operators stick to the 6 p.m. closing hour.

The capsized boat, identified as Lalek Marine, had 20 passengers on board with a boat driver and an assistant, the boat left the jetty at 8:20pm, over two hours after the approved closing time and did not arrive at its destination.

“A 20 capacity passenger boat with the name LALEK MARINE is suspected to have left Ebute Ero jetty around 8pm (After approved sailing time which is 6pm), and didn’t arrive st its destination which was Ikorodu Terminal. The boat was said to have capsized at Owode Ibeshe, not too far away from Ikorodu.

“The owner of the boat is under investigation by marine police, he left the Jetty at a late hour,” Mr Emmanuel earlier said.

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