No fewer than 6 persons has been reportedly drowned in Swali Market waterside, Yenagoa as a speedboat which was alleged to be overloaded capsized. According to eye witnesses, one of the struggling survivors was thrusting his hands out of the water for rescue but was drowned before rescue efforts could reach the point.
Reports indicated that only the hemlsman and one other passenger survived the ordeal. Reports of boat mishaps has been a recurring incidence in the area in recent times and this one did not come as a shock to locals as market has returned to normalcy in the point of the mishap.
A Facebook user with the name Obruche Aki posted that “no fewer than 6 persons drowned in this swali river minutes ago. According to eye witnesses, only 2 persons, including the driver, survived. It is believed that the speedboat was overloaded with goods. According to a friend who saw the event, one of the passenger battling for life in the water trust his hands out of the water and just before the driver of a rescue boat could reach out to his hand he sank into the water. This took place about 1.00 pm today”.
See screenshot below:
The incident took place in the area of the market known as step waterside or Brass boat waterside. As at the time of filing this reports, efforts were on top gear to get to the other passengers and retrieved their bodies.
Some sections of eyewitnesses also indicates that the death toll may be far more than 6 as the said boat is a 16 passenger capacity boat which was fully loaded. However, the actual number of death is yet to be ascertained.
This is a call on relevant authorities to ensure that boats are loaded in line with specified capacity to avoid future occurrence.