The Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transportation of Nigeria (ATBOWATON), on Monday in Lagos said it had step up safety measures to prevent boat mishap.

There had been mishaps in the recent past in Lagos state with that of Ikorudu in July which claimed many casualties.

Mr Aboyomi Banjo, Chairman of ATBOWATON Sifax Terminal Ojo, Lagos Jetty, told NAN that the association was not taking the issue of safety lightly.

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“With the bad story of what happened in Ikorudu where nine persons lost their lives, we want to ensure that such thing does not reoccur.

“The office of the Beach Marshall has been reactivated to check both boat worthiness and the captain’s behavioural conducts onboard the boat and on shore.

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“Among the duties of the marshal is to ensure that boats are sea worthy before sailing out and the captain (driver) is in a stable condition as many of them indulge in drinking and smoking.

“Smoking and drinking have been prohibited while on duty,’’ Banjo said.

According to him, the Lagos State Government is committed to diversifying the transport sector through the waters that the state is blessed with.

Mr Mathew Abe, Secretary, ATBOWATON Ijegun Ojo, Lagos said the association planned to build passengers confidence in the water transportation in the state.

“Many people are gainfully employed in the system of late, with the upsurge in the road transportation in the state and improved waterway transportation will be of assistance,’’ Abe said.

He said with the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) training, billed for Thursday, members would be thought the latest safety measures in boat safety operations.