Navy rescues 250 persons from boat mishap in Rivers

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By Sumaila Ogbaje

The Nigerian Navy (NN) says personnel of Naval Security Station (NSS) 023, deployed along Cawthorne Channel in Rivers, have rescued more than 250 passengers on-board a capsised passenger boat.

The Director of Naval Information, Commodore Aiwuyor Adams-Aliu, in a statement on Tuesday, said the passengers were rescued at about 10.00 p.m. on Sunday.

Adams-Aliu explained that the ill-fated boat, MV Precious Emmanuel, took off from a local market in Sangana area of Bayelsa.

He said the boat was making its way to Rivers when it encountered stormy waters and hit a wreck which damaged its hull causing it to capsise.

According to him, the locally made, 3-deck wooden vessel, popularly known as “Large Cotonou Boat,” was overturned and had no lifesaving equipment on-board and none of its passengers wore a lifejacket.

“It was the vigilant eyes and professional response of NN personnel who swiftly undertook a rescue mission that ensured no life was lost.

“This rescue effort is in line with the Strategic Directive of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla which states that ‘the strategic end state of NN operations is a safe and secure maritime environment in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.’

“Additionally, the NN wishes to reiterate the importance of lifejackets, life buoys and other life-saving equipment to local maritime operators,” he said.

According to him, provision and proper utilisation of such equipment is imperative to safety of lives at sea.

“The NN, wishes to assure the general public that it remains committed to securing Nigeria’s maritime space from the backwaters to the outermost limits of the Exclusive Economic Zone for legitimate businesses to thrive,” he empathised. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Deborah Coker/Salif Atojoko

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