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The Boat Driver That Transported Late Junior Pope, Other Actors Were Not Certified - NSIB Reveals

Posted by Samuel on Fri 24th May, 2024 -

The NSIB revealed this on Friday during a press briefing coinciding with the release of four other final and preliminary reports by the agency.

Junior Pope

The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau has issued a preliminary report concerning the boat incident involving Nollywood actors in Anambra. It discloses that the boat operator lacked certification.

The NSIB revealed this on Friday during a press briefing coinciding with the release of four other final and preliminary reports by the agency.

The Director General, NSIB, Alex Badeh, presented two final reports on aviation incidents, one preliminary report on an aviation incident, and a preliminary report on a marine accident, accompanied by 20 safety recommendations.

The boat was carrying 12 actors and crew members when it crashed, resulting in the loss of five passengers, including popular Nollywood actor Mr. Paul Odonwodo, also known as Junior Pope.

The Director of Transport Investigation, who presented the preliminary report and other findings during the briefing, stated that the speedboat capsized, throwing all occupants into the Anam River. According to him, five passengers were fatally injured, and seven were rescued alive.

The NSIB was not officially notified but learned about the accident through social media. Investigators from NSIB’s Enugu Regional office were dispatched to the accident site on April 12, 2024.

According to the agency, initial findings revealed that the boat driver was not certified, the fibre boat was not registered with the National Inland Waterways Authority, and the outboard engine fibre boat was carrying 12 passengers and one boat driver.

The director said, “There was only one person on the wooden fishing canoe. This rowdiness in the boat distracted the driver and he was not looking out as required.

“The boat was on high speed and the crossing canoe was moving at a much slower speed.

“The only occupant of the canoe, on sighting the fast approaching boat jumped into the river and escaped; The boat collided with the canoe at a high speed which resulted in the boat capsizing and all persons onboard were flung into Anam River.”

The report indicated that although five passengers aboard the boat sustained fatal injuries, the driver and seven other passengers survived the collision.

“Only one passenger on the outboard engine fibre boat was wearing a life jacket. The only passenger wearing a life jacket came with it and was not provided by the operator.

“The passenger wearing the life jacket was one of the survivors. The boat was fitted with an outboard engine. There was no manifest of passengers and persons onboard the boat. The rescue operation was not timely and there were no trained divers around to assist in the operation.”

In its safety recommendations, the bureau urged the National Inland Waterways Authority to ensure that all boats involved in commercial activities within the national inland waterways are registered, adding the authority must ensure adequate safety measures are implemented and enforced in our inland waterways.

Junior Pope died after their boat capsized in the Anam River in Anambra state on April 10, 2024.

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