Ben Dunno, Warri
Two persons have been confirmed dead in a boat mishap that occurred at the weekend at the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA) waterways in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
Seven other persons, who were said to have survived but sustained critical injuries in the boat mishap, are currently receiving treatment at the Warri Central Hospital and other private clinics close to the area.
The tragic incident had been blamed on the management of the NPA, Warri for undermining safety measures by allowing passengers to travel in the river without life jacket.
Narrating his experiences, one of the survivors disclosed that their speedboat capsized due to the uncontrollable wave from one of the NPA’s boat that two of the nine occupants of the boat drowned and died as they were unable to swim.
While one of the deceased identified as Loius Okpare from Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, was found at the side of the river, the identity of the other victim could not be ascertained, as his body has not being recovered.
A source, who pleaded anonymity, said the incident occurred between Newport and Ogunu along the river, at about 1pm, saying that Louis Okpare and one other died in the incident while the seven others were rescued by the Naval boat and were brought to the marine police station.
The source had alleged that the incident caused by the NPA’s boat, adding that it was the wave of their boat that capsized the speedboat when the driver lost control of the boat that led to the death of the two persons.
According to the source the incident wouldn’t have resulted to death if the NPA had taken precaution by ensuring that its passengers put on safety jackets before sailing.
The father of the deceased, Mr. Joshua Ogbatejiri Okpare, in a telephone chat, said he received a call that his son (Loius Okpare) and one other person died in boat mishap while other seven persons survived it through swimming without life jackets.
Efforts to get the NPA General Manager to comment on the tragedy proved abortive as he refused to provide answers to all the inquiries made.
However the Marine police unit at the NPA jetty where the incident occurred confirmed it when contacted.