At least 15 people missing after ship sinks in Liberia: According to report, at least persons on board the sinking Niko Ivanka have been rescued with the help of the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia along with the Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority informed journalists Sunday morning that additional 15-17 people are still missing.
Search and rescue operations are ongoing, a coastguard official said at a news conference in the capital Monrovia. He added that some people had been rescued on Saturday night as the ship was sinking.
The head of Liberia’s Maritime Authority Eugene Lenn Nagbe told reporters that the vessel in question had earlier been placed “under detention orders” because it was unseaworthy. Liberian daily FrontPage Africa reported on Saturday night that 21 people were aboard the vessel and a rescue operation began after it sent out a distress call.
The whole truth about this sinking vessel is below:
A total of 18 persons (9 crew members and 9 personnel from WAEC Monrovia Office) on board Niko Ivanka sank between Little Bassa and Marshall City. They were en route to Maryland County, Southeastern Liberia.
The vessel in question (Niko Ivanka) was a cargo carrier and not intended for passengers. In fact, it was declared unsafe and later detained from travelling on high sea.
Before Niko Ivanka could embark on this trip, NPA CSC PFSO warned and even stopped this vessel from sailing due to its unsafe status. The ISPFS also warned but no one could listen; not even the Port Managing Director.
The Port MD later called ISPFS and PFSO to allow Niko Ivanka to sail. The Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) was also reluctant to assess and ensure SOLAS. LiMA failed to approve this vessel for safety.
So far, 11 persons have been rescued and 7 are reportedly dead. The Port MD and LiMA should be held fully liable for this unfortunate disaster. We are calling for a full-scale investigation.
Why this disaster? This disaster happened because of bad road condition. The road leading to Maryland, Grand Kru, and Sinoe is almost impassable, if not totally impassable. This was also caused as a result of negligence and administrative ineptitude.
While lawmakers are sharing 30k among themselves, our people have to risk their lives on high sea. Our people are dying from such disaster that could be prevented. This is really sad.
Our heart goes out to all families whose relatives were entrapped in this tragedy.
PFSO means Port Facility Security Officer
ISPFS means International Ship and Port Facility Security