The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA has described as untrue the news making the rounds in some online media platforms that the agency failed to provide assistance to a distressed vessel, MV ORC4.
NIMASA said the claim that the agency and the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG failed to provide assistance which led to the sinking of the vessel and loss of lives was false.
In a statement yesterday signed by the head, Corporate Communications of the agency, Isichei Osamgbi said contrary to the false report; NIMASA and NLNG actually saved the vessel through its Search and Rescue Operations. The said fishing vessel did not sink and is 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 were 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.
“Accordingly, 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 were safely evacuated and the vessel safely towed to her owner’s jetty where she is currently undergoing repairs,” the statement reads in part.
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