Maritime

Kwara Boat Disaster: ATBOWATON says accident is horrifying, condoles families of victims, Governor

Kwara Boat Disaster: ATBOWATON says accident is horrifying, condoles families of victims, Governor

 

President, Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON), Dr Gani Tarzan Balogun, has described the boat mishap in Patigi Channel of River Niger, Kwara state in which a hundred passengers lost their lives as horrifying and sad.

 

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A wooden boat conveying a wedding team, friends and families numbering about 103 persons, went down during a night sail, all drowned, and only few bodies recovered so far.

 

Dr Balogun, in a condolence message to the state governor, stated that the incident has once again cast a dark shadow over commercial boat services in the country which have been accidents free in long time due to serious monitoring and compliance ecosystem by National Inland waterways Authority (NIWA).

 

“We at ATBOWATON wish to condole the families of the victims and the government of Kwara state. Even though the boat does not belong to our registered body or any operator known to us, boating is a confraternity, and our heart goes to late captain and owner too. ” Dr Balogun further explained.

The ATBOWATON helmsman informed that he would mobilize the members of the association in New Bussa, Niger state, and other sister bodies to physically visit Kwara state to evaluate the development and thereafter, visit the governor of Kwara state to share ideas on how to mitigate such incidents in the nearest future,

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He said, “We shall proffer solutions and insist on obedience to extant regulations even as he advised that efforts should be made to clear logs and debris out of the waterways.

His words, “ATBOWATON frowns at night sailing. It is not only dangerous and against the law, passengers not also wearing life jackets or poorly produced ones, endangers the lives of both passengers and the captains. So, we shall see how a serious sensitization campaign can be deployed to arrest future occurrences,” Dr Balogun emphasised.

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