Nigeria: Passenger boat with 34 aboard sinks near Port Harcourt, 12 drowned, 17 rescued, others missing – Published 300814 1800z (UTC)

Boat capsized off the coast of southeast Nigeria leaving 12 dead (Credit: ynaija.com)

No less than 10 people (G: now 12) have drowned following the capsizing and sinking of a boat carrying 35 passengers. The passenger boat was headed for Port Harcourt when it suffered the mishap which killed 10 people, and 8 persons reportedly missing.

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) co-ordinator, Onimode Bandele confirmed the incident saying, We can confirm that 10 persons died early today when a Port Harcourt-bound passenger boat sank. Rescue efforts are ongoing and the agency is already working with other bodies and security agencies in the rescue efforts.

Adonye Wilcox, the chairman of Bonny local government council, also confirmed the accident, which he said occurred at 7:45 am on Friday, 29 August. Information available indicates that the boat hit an object on the way and sank, he said. Local divers have rescued 17 persons, including four members of the National Youth Service Corps, while 10 persons died as a result of the accident. Wilcox also added that a search was being conducted for the eight people who are unaccounted for.

Saturday, 30 August, 2014 at 04:42 (04:42 AM) UTC RSOE

Update

news.yahoo.com: “Port Harcourt (Nigeria) (AFP) –

Two more people were confirmed dead on Saturday after an overloaded boat capsized off the coast of southeast Nigeria, taking the death toll to 12.

Twenty-two people were rescued and taken to hospital after the boat went down on Friday as it travelled between Bonny Island and Port Harcourt, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said.

“From our investigation, the capacity of the boat was 25 but it was carrying 34 people,” said NEMA local coordinator Onimode Bandele, revising downward by one the number of people thought to have been on board.

“We also learnt that on August 28, the same boat hit an object which affected its hull and we are not sure if it was repaired before being used again,” he told AFP.

The boat is thought to have hit an object and overturned early on Friday.

Boat accidents in Nigeria occur frequently and are often caused by overloading, poor vessel maintenance, speeding and poor lighting.”

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