Boat mishap: Gov Otu to sanction officials


The Cross River Government will sanction officials of the Marina Resort found culpable of having compromised on safety standards over the cruise boat mishap.

This is contained in a statement issued by Gov. Bassey Otu’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche in Calabar.

NAN reports that a boat carrying 14 medical students capsized on Saturday at about 3 pm in the popular Marina Resort, Calabar.

Three of the students are still missing, while 11 others were rescued by men of the Nigerian Navy and villagers.

The students who were from different tertiary institutions under the aegis of the Nigeria Medical Students Association, NiMSA, were in Calabar for their Annual Health Week.

They visited the Marina Resort as part of their social activities.

”The government is saddened over this incident. We charge security and rescue agencies as well as villagers involved in the operations to find the missing students and reunite them with their families,” Otu said.

He decried the safety standards at the resort, vowing that anyone found guilty to have compromised on safety would be severely sanctioned.

”The news of a cruise boat mishap at the Marina Resort, a tourist and relaxation destination in Calabar, is saddening and calls for concern to me, not only as your governor but as a parent.

”To imagine that the boat was overcrowded and some of those on it were without life jackets is of even greater concern and the more reason the state government will be investigating the incident.

”All those found culpable of having compromised on safety standards will face the wrath of the law.

”As a government, we remain committed to protecting lives and providing an enabling environment for business, tourism,” he said.

According to him, any untoward action that derails the objective of the state will not be tolerated.

He showered praises on the personnel of the Nigerian Navy and villagers who responded swiftly and rescued 11 of the 14 passengers on the boat.

He further expressed joy that all but one of the rescued students were out of hospital.

He also expressed confidence that the remaining one would pull through as doctors had assured that he was stable and responding to treatment.

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