Tola Adenubi, Lagos
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Saturday said its Deep Blue project rescued seven distressed workers from onboard MT ALIMA, an oil tanker, at the single buoy mooring area in Lagos.
This is even as findings revealed that one of the workers (the 8th workers) had died due to complications developed as a result of insufficient oxygen available in the tank.
In a statement signed by NIMASA Assistant Director of Public Relations, Edward Osagie, the rescue came as a result of a call put through to the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh.
According to the statement, “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 OFR.
“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, 8 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 06*20.9’’N,003*21.9’’E at the single buoy mooring area in Lagos.
“Dr. Jamoh, who 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, Dr. 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.”
Checks by the Sunday Tribune however confirmed that one of the workers, the eight worker, lost his life due to complications developed as a result of insufficient oxygen available in the tank.
In a post on social media by the NIMASA DG, Dr Bashir Jamoh on Saturday, which was monitored by Sunday Tribune, the NIMASA helmsman stated that, “Kudos to the Deep Blue team for successfully completing the search and rescue mission.
“NIMASA will continue monitoring the seven rescued workers health until they fully recover while we mourn the loss of the worker who died.”