Calabar Boat Mishap: NIWA Recovers Bodies of 3 Medical Students, Arrests Operators

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has announced that its search and rescue team has recovered the bodies of the three missing medical students involved in a boat mishap on Saturday, June 24, 2023 in the Calabar Waterways.

This is coming two weeks after a boat accident claimed over 100 lives at Kpada community in Pategi Local Government Area of Kwara State.

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The Authority, in a statement signed by its General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Jibril Darda’u on Monday, said that it has also arrested the operators and sealed the Jetty as the boat is not duly registered and the Jetty is also not approved by NIWA.

Findings reveled that the accident was as a result of overloading; engine malfunction midstream, and rainy weather.

The statement further read: “Report from our Area Manager in Calabar Engr. Stanley Onouha revealed that the Passport 19 Pleasure boat carrying 14 final year medical students capsized in Calabar Waterways. The Final year students were in Calabar for their annual conference.

“However, 11 persons were rescued by the combined efforts of the Nigerian Navy (NNS Victory), community boat operators and NIWA rescue team.

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“The 3 missing dead bodies were recovered at the early hours of today. 2 (Two) from Ahamadu Bello University Zaria and 1 (One) from University of Uyo.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that the cause of the incident were overloading (The boat is supposed to carry a maximum of 9 passengers), engine malfunction midstream, a rainy weather and heavy turbulence that capsized the cruising boat.

“The 11 survivors were taken to hospital and they are now okay and discharged.

“We commiserate with the families, friends, loved ones and the Medical Students Association for the loss of the 3 students. We pray to God Almighty to grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss and may the gentle souls of the departed rest in peace”.

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Ismail Aniemu

Ismail Aniemu, Publisher of JournalNG and ghost writer, is a maritime journalist of over two decades' of practice with multidisciplinary background. He holds a masters degree in Transport Management from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology(LAUTECH) with bias for logistics. He is also an alumnus of the Times Journalism Institute where he obtained a post graduate diploma in Journalism. Email:

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