The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has debunked the news making the rounds in some online media platform that it failed to provide assistance to a distressed vessel; MV ORC4.
A statement signed by the Head, Corporate Communications, NIMASA, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi, said that contrary to the false report, which claimed that NIMASA and Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) failed to provide assistance to a distressed vessel, resulting in the sinking of the vessel and loss of lives; the truth was that NIMASA and NLNG actually saved the vessel through its Search and Rescue Operations.
The Agency said that the alleged fishing vessel did not sink and was currently at the ORC Jetty at Kirikiri Lighter Terminal in Lagos where it was safely towed after rescue.
“For the records, NIMASA Search and Rescue Control Room received a distress call at about 20:00hrs on 6th Feb 2019 that a Vessel MV ORC 4 (ORC IV) was on fire at Bonny Anchorage and that the crew was abandoning the vessel. The agency’s Search and Rescue station swung into action and relayed the emergency call to shipping within the area in line with its statutory mandate as enshrined in SS.22(1) and SS.22(4) of the NIMASA Act 2007 and S.2(1) of the Merchant Shipping Act 2007 on Maritime Safety.
“After preliminary investigation and assessment of the distress, the agency immediately sought collaboration with the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) whose firefighting tug was closest to the scene to assist in bringing the situation under control along with other neighbouring vessels who collaborated in the rescue exercise, in line with global shipping standard.”
Consequently, the NLNG immediately swung into action by dispatching the firefighting tug boat named; CTOW ANN SOPHIE to the scene which was used to extinguish the fire. The crew onboard was safely evacuated and the vessel safely towed to her owner’s jetty where she is currently undergoing repairs”, the statement said.