Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) says it has recovered four bodies from Friday’s boat mishap.
The four bodies were part of passengers in a W19 fibre boat carrying 16 passengers that capsized on Friday night.
LASWA said the bodies were recovered around Mile 2 area on Saturday.
Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, general manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA), confirmed the recovery to NAN in Lagos on Sunday.
The general manager condoled with the families of victims who lost their lives in recent boat mishaps in the state.
Emmanuel added that LASWA had put many measures in place to reduce incidents of boat mishaps.
“Part of the safety measures is LASWA’s Search and Rescue Unit established to improve response in emergencies,” Emmanuel said.
Lagos State government is doing all it can to ensure that the sector is viable and safe.
“Government is ready to come down hard on any operator who endangers the lives of people while operating in the sector.
“One of the boat drivers whose actions led to a boat mishap some years back was recently sentenced to life imprisonment.”
He said that with the huge capital committed to water transportation, the government would not fold its arms and allow mediocrity.
The LASWA boss added that the agency had collaborated with Yamaha, a manufacturer of boat engines, to reduce boat prices to enable operators to put more money into safety devices.
Emmanuel admonished passengers to be safety-conscious always.
“The life jacket can save you. Buy your own life jacket if you must. Inspect the life jackets that you are given and make sure they do not have holes and also avoid night travels,” he added.
“Safety consciousness is a collective responsibility; if you see something unusual on the waterways, say it.”
Sarat Braimah, area manager, Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), also confirmed the recovery of the four bodies.
Braimah said NIWA would produce a transportation code to spell out the dos and don’ts on inland waterways.
She confirmed that the use of substandard boats was responsible for some of the mishaps recorded so far.
“To stem this scourge, efforts have reached advanced stages to formulate standards and regulate the boat building industry,” Braimah told NAN.
“In the long term, some classes of boats would be phased out; certain class of boats would be approved and classes of rivers on which operators could function would be listed.”