Junior Pope’s death: Investigation Bureau report reveals shocking cause of boat mishap

    The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has made public its preliminary report about the boat accident that killed actor Junior Pope and four other people on April 10 in the Anam River.

    In its report released on Friday, May 24 and presented by its director, Cpt. Alex Baden, the agency said it was not officially notified about the accident but got to know about it on social media.

    According to the NSIB, investigators from the Enugu Regional office of NSIB were dispatched to the accident scene on April 12, 2024.

    It said its investigation showed that, the driver of the ill-fated boat was not certified.

    “There was only one person on the wooden fishing canoe. This rowdiness in the boat distracted the driver and he was not looking out as required. The boat was on high speed and the crossing canoe was moving at a much slower speed.

    “The only occupant of the canoe, on sighting the fast approaching boat jumped into the river and escaped; The boat collided with the canoe at a high speed which resulted in the boat capsizing and all persons onboard were flung into Anam River.” the director said.

    Contrary to information from the movie producer that they were provided with life jackets, the report stated that only one passenger on the boat had a life jacket and he survived the boat accident.

    The NSIB added that the life jacket was not provided by the operator of the boat.

    “Only one passenger on the outboard engine fibre boat was wearing a life jacket. The only passenger wearing a life jacket came with it and was not provided by the operator. The passenger wearing the life jacket was one of the survivors. The boat was fitted with an outboard engine. There was no manifest of passengers and persons onboard the boat. Rescue operation was not timely and there were no trained divers around to assist in the operation.”

    In its safety recommendations, the bureau urged the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to ensure that all boats involved in commercial activities (goods and passengers) within the national inland waterways are registered.

    It added that, authority must ensure adequate safety measures are implemented and enforced in our inland waterways.

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