By Steve Agbota, Lagos
A total of seven distressed workers have been saved by the prompt response of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) following a distress call to the Director General, Dr Bashir Jamoh.
According to a statement released on Saturday, the call, which came in at about 11.30 pm on February 2, 2023, from the Safety Officer on MT ALIMA reported that while cleaning the tanks of the vessel by a private cleaning company, eight of the cleaners developed complications due to insufficient oxygen available in the tank to sustain them. The position (coordinates) of the ship at the time of the call was 0620.9’’N,00321.9’’E at the single buoy mooring area in Lagos.
Dr Jamoh immediately directed the NIMASA Head of the Deep Blue project and Head of the Maritime Safety Department to deploy one of the fast intervention boats for rescue operations and also directed immediate medical attention to the survivors.
NIMASA took the seven survivors to the military hospital at Ikoyi for medical attention, where they are presently recovering at various degrees. Five of them are now stable, one has a broken leg and one is still in critical condition.
While reassuring the maritime community of NIMASA’s ever-ready 24-hour vigilance to respond to distress calls using any of the procured air, land and sea assets, Jamoh urged operators to be meticulous about basic safety standards at all times.
He advised further that anyone working on board vessels should update themselves with required training that complies with Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) in line with the revised Manila Convention.
Jamoh thanked the rescue team for the operation and urged them to keep the maritime tradition of round-the-clock watchkeeping and timely response at all times.