A Female Corps Member and a Pregnant Woman have been confirmed among the passengers that died after drowning from a boat mishap on Saturday between Otuan and Ayama communities of Southern Ijaw Local Government areas of Bayelsa State.
Also among the victims are a Mother with her two children and a 70 year old Otuan Chief and Father to a journalist in the State, Chief Lucky Daniels.
The Boat and the corpses of the victims are still missing as at the time of this report with rescue and search efforts ongoing at Ayama Community.
According to reports, the boat, with a capacity to carry 15 passengers, rammed into a barrier while trying to berth close to Ayama community.
Community members said the afternoon rain storm, which made all the passengers covered themselves with Tarpaulin and reduce visibility may have contributed to the disaster.
Mr. Domo Timi, a journalist, whose father was one of the victim of the accident, confirmed that his father was involved and rescue teams have been despatched to check the scene.
The elected Chairman of the Maritime Union in Otuan Community, Joseph Shedrack stated that the boat driver, Lucky Christopher, who survived the accident, has been detained by the Police over alleged reckless driving, due to poor visibility and bad weather.
He said preliminary investigations showed that the weather was bad, explaining that a Corps member, two children and a woman died.
The State Chairman of the Maritime Union, Ipigansi Ogoniba, however said six persons have been confirmed missing and dead, though one corpse was recovered and handed to the family for burial while three adults and three children were still missing or probably dead
On the identity of the Corps Member involved in the Boat disaster, Ogoniba said the authorities of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has been contacted through the Community Liaison Officer (CLO), as they are still searching for her corpse.
When contacted, the State Public Relations Officer of the NYSC, Mathew Ngobua hinted that the State Coordinator and other officials who have left for the scene stated that the corps member’s name is said to be on the passenger manifest and is not at the lodge.
He however promised to make a detailed report after the search and rescue or when the body is recovered.
Spokesman for the Bayelsa State Police Command, Asinim Buatswat, also confirmed the incident but said he is yet to be properly briefed on the number of casualties and what led to the accident.
Reporting by Alambo Dantoye, editing by Daniel Adejo