Medical students lament boat accident involving colleagues



By Tina Agosi Todo

• Blame tourist company for negligence

Nigeria Medical Students Association (NiMSA) has accused the management of Marina Resort of negligence, poor management as factors responsible for the boat accident conveying members of the association.

Some medical students had, on Saturday, embarked on a boat cruise organised by Marina Resort, as part of social activities to mark their annual health week in Calabar, but the boat had an accident. Eleven persons were rescued, while three persons are still missing.

The association, yesterday, at a press briefing at the Marina Resort, said the accident could have been avoided and that the anguish in the medical students community nationwide would have been prevented.

Speaking on behalf of the association, the National President of NiMSA, Ejim Egba, said: “This ugly, avoidable and extremely traumatising incident causing so much anguish to the medical students community nationwide was as a result of negligence, incompetence and the lackadaisical attitude of the crew members and the management of Marina Resort.

“Factors that contributed to this occurrence include: leaky boat, poor condition and integrity of the vests, poorly maintained engines resulting in the engine going off during the trip, fuel finishing before they got back to shore, little or no supervision by management, poor regulation and monitoring.

“The first set of student tourists had a safe landing though some concerns were raised of which they were assured of safety and competent expertise. The second set of 13 student tourists, one driver and a decant boarded and they took off.”

According to him, the driver of the first set of tourists handed over to another driver while he went to buy fuel.

“Not long after take-off, the engine went off, water started rushing into the boat uncontrollably . At this point, the boat started sinking and finally capsized.”
According to the itinerary, visit to Marina Resort slave Trade Museum, games and cruise to Tinapa and dinner were scheduled for Saturday, adding that the management of both tourist locations were duly informed and notified on their arrival at the Marina Resort about 11:25 a.m.

Meanwhile, the state Governor, Bassey Otu, had decried the poor state of facilities at the resort and called for immediate investigation into the cause of the accident. He vowed that any one found guilty of compromise on safety would be severely sanctioned.

He said: “The news of a cruise boat mishap at the Marina Resort is very sad, it calls for concern. To imagine that the boat was crowded and some of the students were without life jacket is of even greater concern. It is the more reason why the state government will investigate the incident.”


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