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NIMASA gives insight into ship collision, rescue operation

By News Express on 28/10/2015

Views: 3,146

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has provided insight into the rescue operation near the Bonga Floating Production Supply and Offloading facility where two vessels – MT Elixir and MT Tank – collided last week. The agency also commiserated with the families of the victims as it announced that search and rescue operation, and investigation continued.

At a media briefing on Monday in Lagos attended by three of the survivors, the Acting Director General of the Agency, Mr. Haruna Baba Jauro, said NIMASA commenced search and rescue operation immediately the report of the ship wreck got to it.

“NIMASA has a team on ground working in collaboration with the officers of the Nigerian Navy, and they have been giving us reports. The nature of the operation did not allow for spontaneous reports to the public,” he further said.

Providing more details, NIMASA’s Director Maritime Safety and Seafarers Standards, Engr. Vincent Udoye, said he immediately alerted the Zonal Coordinator for Central Zone NIMASA, Captain Kunle Olayiwola about the distress call urging him to arrange search and rescue, as well as conduct preliminary investigation.

According to him, Olayiwola contacted Global West Vessel Specialist Limited (GWVSL), with which NIMASA has a Public Private Partnership arrangement, adding that GWVSL vessels were immediately deployed to the scene of the accident.

He explained: “We have a Memorandum of Understanding with Shell that owns the Bonga facility, and there is an arrangement that when there is distress at sea, the nearest vessel to the scene of the accident should respond immediately. While NIMASA vessel was on its way, one of the vessels within the Bonga field responded and picked up a survivor. MT Elixir, which had the accident, had also deployed its own rescue boats to pick up the survivors. By the time our vessel ‘NIMASA Bineibi’ got to the scene, they had picked up three survivors. NIMASA then conveyed the survivors from MT Elixir to the shores for proper medical attention. We have four naval personnel on board for additional security. We asked the naval personnel to stay there to provide additional security so that they are not attacked by pirates.”

Mr. Jauro commiserated with the families and loved ones of the victims. “As an Agency, we deeply feel it because it happened in the environment where we operate,” the DG said, explaining that NIMASA had made arrangement to cater for the expenses of the injured crew members.

“We have created an environment for the victims and their families to be able to talk to the owners of the ship. In addition to search and rescue, our role is to conduct investigation, and that we are doing,” he also said.

The DG further assured that all vessels around the location have been asked to continue search and rescue operation.

Since the location of the accident was prone to pirate attacks and also rough weather conditions, the NIMASA helmsman said Naval officers had been placed onboard MT Elixir to provide security for the vessel and the crew.

Udoye also explained that there was a limit to NIMASA’s involvement with foreign vessels. “The responsibility of a flag administration like NIMASA with respect to marine casualties is to investigate thoroughly, learn the lessons and communicate the lessons learned to the appropriate authorities. The law enforcement agencies have the powers of prosecution,” he said.

•Photo shows, from left; Eng. Vincent Udoye, Director Maritime Safety and Seafearers Standards; Dele Ejekukor, Deputy Director, Zonal Coordination; Hajia Lami Tumaka, Head Public Relations, all of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) at the media briefing on the agency’s rescue operation of wrecked ship . . . on Monday in Lagos.


Source News Express

Posted 28/10/2015 03:25:10 AM





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