Over 20 persons, including four siblings, have died when two wooden boats capsized in Rivers State.

The tragic incident occurred on Andoni waterways in Andoni Local Government Area of the State on Tuesday night, January 9, 2024, when the boats were heading for Bonny, a neighbouring coastal council area.

It was gathered that over 25 people were in the two boats when they were struck by a heavy wave. A rescue team team came hours later and rescued some victims, including one Mr. Ayayi Promise and his wife, Rose Promise (both pictured)

Sadly, the couple’s four children and little grandchild drowned.

Executive chairman of Andoni LGA, Erastus Awortu, who confirmed the incident in a statement on Wednesday, January 10, expressed rude shock over the tragedy and condoled the families and communities of victims.

Awortu regretted that the fatal accident occurred after successful festive celebrations, including unity carnivals in the council area.

He noted the council’s efforts to save those who were alive, offer first aid assistance to the injured and recover bodies of the dead from the river; as he promised to cushion the pains of the deceased families and communities in their trying moments.

Furthermore, the council chairman harped on the need for boat operators to insist on total compliance of all passengers to safety measures, and warned against night travels by sea.

“We received with rude shock and deep pain a disturbing report that over 20 persons from Andoni are feared dead in boat mishap involving two Andoni/Bonny-bound boats which occurred within the Andoni waterways on Tuesday January, 9, 2024,” the statement read.

“Upon receiving the sad development, we immediately dispatched our team to join the first responders on rescue mission at the scene of the incident in a bid to salvage the situation.

“We are closely monitoring the situation to offer further support especially to give the survivors necessary medical attention and recover the remains of the dead from the sea.

“Our hearts go out to the Families and Communities of victims of this unfortunate disaster especially Ngo Town, Ataba, Isiama and other Communities whose loved ones where involved in the boat mishap.

“We share in their pain and trauma, our prayers and thoughts are with them in this moment of grief. We will do whatever we can as a Local Government to reduce the burden of grief of the bereaved families and communities.

“While we bemoan the boat mishap which came at a time when our people were still basking in the mood of a successful festive season in Andoni, we call on operators of water transportation in Andoni to ensure strict compliance of all passengers to safety rules.

“We also warn the operators to desist from embarking on night journey on sea.”

Four Siblings And 16 Others Die As Two Boats Capsize In Rivers


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