Five traders have been confirmed dead after a boat capsized in Ugbo-Nla in Ilaje council area of Ondo State.
Vanguard learnt that the victims who went to buy seafood at a local market at Ugbo-Nla were involved in an accident on the waterway.
Their boat, a local said “capsized and five of the travellers died, while only one person was rescued, due to use of life jacket.
Reacting to the ugly development, the National President of the Ondo State Fishermen Association of Nigeria, Ambassador Orioye Benedict, has urged the state government to enforce the use of life.
Gbayisemore, who expressed concerns over the development, advised the state government to enforce the use of life jackets to prevent reoccurrence of the unfortunate incident.
According to him, stringent measures should be implemented to enforce mandatory use of life jackets by commuters on waterways.
The President added that this will significantly enhance safety and increase the chances of survival during emergency.
According to him “the presence of a life jacket saved the life of the sole survivor in this tragic incident, highlighting its critical importance in ensuring the safety of individuals, engaging in maritime activities.
“The lone survivor in the Ugbo Nla boat mishap had the foresight to wear a life jacket, before setting out on the ill-fated trip.
“The life jacket was vital to his survival, keeping him buoyant until rescue arrived.
“This serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to enforce the use of life jackets for all individuals commuting on water.”
Gbayisemore urged the state government to prioritise dredging and clearing of waterways, to facilitate safe and unobstructed movement for passengers.
He said, “it is crucial to that well-maintained waterways enhance ease of transportation and significantly reduce the risk of accidents, ensuring safety and wellbeing of those who rely on water transportation.
“Additionally, the government needs to recognise the significance of investing in water transportation. This mode of transportation can contribute to economic growth in the region.
“The government can promote safe and efficient travel for its citizens by encouraging and supporting investment in water transportation infrastructure”.
He also advised the state government to support boat workers to develop a robust water transportation system.
“Supporting boat workers is crucial to developing a robust water transportation system. Training, resources and necessary support for boat workers will enhance their skills, ensure adherence to safety protocols and foster a culture of professionalism within the industry.
“This tragic event serves as a critical call to the government to enforce the mandatory use of life jackets, prioritise dredging and clearing of waterways for improved passenger safety, recognise the importance of investing in water transportation and support boat workers”.
He noted that ”By so doing, the government can prevent future tragedy and create a safer environment for all water commuters”.