‘Alcohol leading cause of fatal boat accidents’


The Managing Director, Workplace Safety Nigeria Limited, Felix Nlerum, has faulted the reckless drinking of alcohol by boat riders, describing it as a major cause of accidents on Nigerian waters.

Nlerum, who disclosed this during the Marine Safety Awareness Campaign, themed: ‘Boat Transport safety’ organised by Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria, in Lagos, listed other causes as overloading; heavy traffic; unsafe speed; operator inattentiveness; improper lookout; force of wave; weather; wrong life jacket and navigation rules violation, which accounted for 65 percent fatalities.

While training boat drivers, crew and mangers on marine safety tips, Nlerum advised boat operators not to drink or take drugs while sailing, and always ensure that regulatory life saving equipment is available, operational and maintained onboard such as life jackets, life buoy, fire extinguisher, pyrotechnics and others.

He warned against wearing a wrong kind of life jacket, adding that using inherent life jacket in an enclosed boat is unsafe, as people in a capsized boat will not be able to free themselves

“For ferries, passengers should wear the aviation type life jacket and not the inherent buoyant type, if you are in an enclosed boat wearing inherently or inflated type, you are not safe. When boat capsizes, it will only keep you pinned under the boat, walk vest cannot save your life,” he said.He advised captains to always guarantee the safety of their passengers and crew by ensuring the safety standards and regulatory procedures are in place and respected, adding that refuelling operations onboard is not safe.

He further warn against overloading, as boats are designed and equipped for a maximum number of passengers and crew, which should to be respected, and displayed in the cabin visible to the passengers and crew.The Deputy Managing Director, Deep Water, Total upstream companies in Nigeria, Ahmadu-Kida Musa, said Total’s commitment to promoting safety best practices, environment protection, business ethics and corporate social responsibility universally.

Represented by the Deputy General Manager, Corporate Social Responsibly (CSR), Dr. Nkoyo Attah, disclosed that Total upstream has added over 2.3 billion barrels of oil to Nigeria’s production in the last five years, and has also invested approximately $10 billion in-country.He added that with decades of executing development projects, Total activities have contributed in creating jobs and human capacity development in Nigeria.

According to him, the aim of the campaign is to significantly reduce cases of boat accidents on the nation’s waterways, and make marine transport safer, in line with Total’s commitment to building local capacity.He added that 150 boat operators will have their marine safety awareness heightened at the campaign, and they will also receive certifications.

“Our company on a yearly basis, offer graduates and post graduates scholarships, skills acquisitions, not only to the indigenes of the areas where we produced oil, but to all eligible Nigerians. We have and will continue to contribute meaningfully to the overall development of Nigeria and its people,” he said.

He boosted that Total, as the industry benchmark for Nigerian Content, has made significant investment in local capacity building through the Ofon 2, and Egina projects, which boast of the highest deepwater local content in Nigeria, with Egina expected to come on stream in 2018 with the capacity of 200,000 bpd.

He said the development of the SHI-MCI Yard on LADOL Island, and significant work on seven Nigerian fabrication yards of various projects scopes will continue to generate direct employment and indirect businesses for Nigerians throughout the life of the project.

“I wish to thank marine operators here today, this is because you have availed yourself the opportunity to acquire new information and gain knowledge that will make our waterways safer for everyone. At Total, we remain committed to Nigeria, and we will always seek ways to make positive impact in our business environment,” he concluded



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