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Three Students Missing, 11 Rescued As Speedboat Capsizes In Cross River

The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Irene Ugbo, confirmed the rescue, noting that efforts had intensified to rescue three others as of Saturday evening.

By Thelma Nneji

A total of 11 students under the aegis of the Nigeria Medical Students Association (NIMSA) were rescued on Saturday after a speedboat capsized at a resort in Calabar, Cross River State.

The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Irene Ugbo, confirmed the rescue, noting that efforts had intensified to rescue three others as of Saturday evening.

It was gathered that the passengers were on a boat cruise when the mishap occurred around 3 pm.

Channels Television reports that some of the medical students came from universities across the country to attend the NiMSA annual Health Week in Calabar.

In a bid to explore the city, the students were said to have headed to the Marina Resort for a boat cruise.

Meanwhile, the Cross River State Governor, Bassey Otu, has ordered an investigation into the cruise boat mishap involving 14 medical students at the popular Marina Resort in Calabar, the state capital.

The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Ogbeche, expressed sadness that three of the medical students, who were in Calabar for the Nigeria Medical Students Games, had yet to be found.

He charged security and rescue agencies as well as local villagers involved in the operations to find the missing students and reunite them with their families.

Kwara Boat Mishap

The incident comes days after 106 fatalities were recorded in a Kwara boat mishap last Tuesday, while 144 passengers were rescued.

The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) stated that an investigation was being carried out to ascertain the cause of the accident.

He explained that the boat capsized with about 250 passengers on board, travelling from Egboti village in Niger State to Kwara’s Patigi district.

See the Cross River governor’s statement below:

PRESS STATEMENT

Cross River Governor Orders Investigation Into Cruise Boat Accident, Commends Navy, Villagers For Prompt Response

Cross River State Governor, Senator (Prince) Bassey Otu, has ordered investigation into the cruise boat mishap involving 14 medical students at the popular Marina Resort in Calabar, the state capital.

The governor, who is saddened that 3 of the medical students, who are in Calabar for the Nigeria Medical Students Games, are yet-to-be found, charged security and rescue agencies as well as local villagers involved in the operations to find the missing students and reunite them with their families.

Otu 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 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 why the state government will be investigating the incident and all those found culpable of having compromised on safety standards will face the wrath of the law.

“As a government, our administration remains committed to protecting the sanctity of life and providing an enabling environment for business, tourism and peaceable living. Therefore, any untoward action that could derail our objective will not be tolerated,” the governor stated.

He further expressed his joy that all but for one of the rescued students were out of hospital and was confident that the remaining one will pull through as doctors say he is stable and responding to treatment.

Governor Otu was full of praise for personnel of the Nigerian Navy and local villagers who responded swiftly to the hapless revellers and rescued 11 of the 14 passengers on the boat.

Signed:

Emmanuel Ogbeche
Chief Press Secretary to the Executive Governor
Cross River State

Channels Inc Ltd

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