LOCAL DIVERS, fishermen and boat operators in Lagos State on Monday, rescued a sailing boat with 18 occupants including the operators on board.
However, one of the occupants was presumed dead while seventeen others were rescued.
The fishermen were said to be on water at that time and they put a call across their colleagues and local divers around the area before the arrival of government agencies.
The Acting Coordinator, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Lagos State, Ibrahim Farinloye who confirmed the development said the local divers, fishermen and boat operators were the first responders at the scene of the incident. .
According to him, emergency responders from state and federal also joined the operation and hastened the exercise which lasted for less than 30 minutes.
Farinloye said the boat operators have been trained on what to do before the arrival of government agencies.
The ill-fated boat was said to have left Lagos Island for Ikorodu area before the incident occured around Adekunle.
It was learnt that the deceased, a male, identified as Uzochukwu, gave up the ghost on way to the hospital while First Aid treatment was applied on those rescued before they all went to their various homes.
An eye witness who pleaded anonymity told Vanguard that two local boats immediately came to the rescue of the victims as soon as the incident was noticed,
the passengers scampered for safety but they were all rescued except one who died on the way to the hospital. I guess this was due to fear of the unknown,”
Contacted, the General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), Damilola Emmanuel said his federal counterpart was the first government agency to arrive the scene.
Also, a Marine officer Sheyi Okaga, who was at the scene of the incident said all the occupants wore life jackets before embarking on the journey.
He said none of the occupants sustained injuries though the casualty was likely to have occured due to shock because the incident was promptly attended to . “The incident was unfortunate. Immediately it happened, our men who were on patrol at that time drew our attention to it and we rushed to the scene with some equipment. Investigation is ongoing to know the attendance cause.
“Local fishermen, Marine Police and relevant government agencies jointly carried out the rescue operation which was very swift and all the victims have returned home.
“We read the manifest and contacted the next of kin of the deceased and the body was handed over to them,” he added.