Ondo State Fishermen Association of Nigeria (OSAFAN), has urged the state government to enforce the use of life jackets on sea to save lives during boat mishaps.
This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday in Akure by the National President of OSAFAN, Mr Orioye Gbayisemore.
He said it was important following the death of five traders, in an accident that involved six persons who went to buy seafoods in a local market on June 7.
He added that their boat capsised and five of them died instantly while only one person was rescued alive for using a life jacket.
Gbayisemore who said he was worried about the development, advised the state government to enforce the use of life jackets to prevent reoccurrence of the unfortunate incident.
According to him, stringent measures should be implemented to enforce water commuters’ mandatory use of life jackets, to enhance safety and increase the chances of survival during unforeseen emergencies.
“The presence of a life jacket saved the life of the sole survivor in this tragic incident, highlighting its critical importance in ensuring the safety of individuals engaging in maritime activities.
“The lone survivor in the Ugbo Nla boat mishap had the foresight to wear a life jacket before setting out on the ill-fated trip. The life jacket was vital to his survival, keeping him buoyant until rescue came.
“This serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need to enforce the use of life jackets for all individuals commuting on water,” he said.
Gbayisemore also urged the government to prioritise the dredging and clearing of waterways to facilitate safe and unobstructed passage for passengers.
“It is crucial to recognise that well-maintained waterways enhance the ease of transportation and significantly reduce the risk of accidents, ensuring the safety and well-being of all those who rely on water transport.
“Additionally, the government needs to recognise the significance of investing in water transportation. This mode of transportation can contribute to economic growth in the region.
“The government can promote safe and efficient travel for its citizens by encouraging and supporting investment in water transportation infrastructure,” he said.
Gbayisemore also urged the state government to support boat workers to develop a robust water transportation system.
“Training, resources, and necessary support to boat workers will enhance their skills, ensure adherence to safety protocols and foster a culture of professionalism within the industry.
” By so doing, the government can prevent future tragedies and create a safer environment for all water commuters,” he added