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NIWA ruffled by incessant boat mishaps — vows to flush out quack operators


Segun Oladipupo    |   

National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has expressed worry over the incessant boat mishaps on the waterways which it has attributed to quacks among the operators.

The management has therefore vowed to fish and flush out quack boat operators from its waterways in the country.

The Unit Head of Marine Department in NIWA, Engr. Ipimoroti Adeleye made this known at a training organized for boat drivers in Warri on Monday.

Adeleye  said quack boat drivers would not be allowed on the waterways again.

Adeleye noted that NIWA will soon embark on patrols, stressing that it will not tolerate any excuse when it fully comes out to enforce its safety rules.

He urged relevant marine companies to send in their staff(boat drivers) for the training being organized for NIWA, to help train them and keep the waterways safe from accidents and others.

Mr. Innocent Ohwotuemuhor, a trainer with Lufredha Academy advised the boat drivers to avoid alcohol and drugs(controllable uncontrollable) if they must drive. 

According to him, “Alcohol will impair your judgement in driving. You’re not supposed to be on drugs.”

Ohwotuemuhor also advised the boat drivers to ensure that their passengers always wear lived jackets before entering the boats for any trip, bearing in mind all safety rules applicable to NIWA.

He said the boat drivers should always move with their communication gadgets whenever they embark on any journey, especially during critical times as well as know the weather condition before doing same.

Earlier in his address, the Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority, Dr.(Chief) George Muoghalu said the training programme for the boat drivers was organised in collaboration with LUFREDHA Academy. 

Dr. Muoghalu, who was represented by the Warri Area Manager, Engr. Mohammed Dangana said, “This 5-Day programme is open to all eligible power boaters:-crew boat, cruising and racing skippers as well as commercial fishermen.

“The training is structured to be conducted by experienced captains of marine industries, all experts in their field to provide novice and experienced boat operators with information and skills required to prepare for inland navigation, boat preparation, handling heavy weather etc.

“On-the-water demonstration will include quick stop and man overboard recoveries, and flare procedures.”

The Chairman of the event, Barr. Sonny Sidadi-Kadiri, appreciated NIWA in collaboration with Lufredha Academy for the training and retraining of boat drivers to maintain an acceptable safety standard are obtainable anywhere in the world.

“It is to ensure that the basic requirements for safety of life and property, along the waterways are not compromised. 

“We look forward to the water demonstration or drill which will include quick stop; man overboard recoveries and flare procedures. These demonstrations, though entertaining, are for the safety of lives.”

The Chief Executive Officer of Lufredha Academy, Tonlagha Rosemary, said the training for the boat drivers will help greatly in reducing accidents and others hazards  on the waterways.

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