Tragedy struck in Southern Ijaw local government area yesterday when a passenger boat capsized and killed eight persons.
The boat was conveying passengers from Korokorosei to Ayama Ijaw, both in Southern Ijaw council.
Seven persons travelling from Otuan to Ayama died in a boat mishap last weekend.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the passenger boat was conveying 12 passengers when it rammed into a local boat conveying garri from Yenagoa to Ayama.
It was said to be raining and the tarpaulin used to provide shields for the passengers was blown off by the wind forcing it to cover the driver’s face. This made him hit another boat causing it to capsize.
The state chairman of the Maritime Union Workers Union, Mr Ipigansi Ogoniba, who confirmed the accident, said it was another avoidable tragedy.
He said, “The accident occurred around 9 am (Wednesday). The boat was travelling from Korokorosei to Ayama Ijaw. It was raining so the boat driver covered the passengers with tarpaulin, unfortunately, the passengers did not hold the tarpaulin well and the wind blew it to cover the driver’s face and he hit a local boat and the boat capsized.
“Eight of the 12 passengers drowned while four were rescued by our team which took the empty boat to Oyoma,” he said.
Ogoniba lamented the failure of boat drivers to provide life jackets for their passengers to save them from drowning.
According to him, the union‘s rules state that no boat should sail without life jackets. Unfortunately, this rule is often violated.
He hinted that in the next coming days, the union would synergise with its taskforce and security agencies to clamp down on boat drivers sailing without life jackets for their passengers.