14th July, 2011
Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) on Wednesday urged passengers to be more careful while travelling on water now that the waters are in high levels due to the rainy season.
The heavy rains on Sunday and Monday in the Lagos area had increased the level of water in the ocean and the lagoons that make the waterways in the area, LASWA Managing Director, Mr. Yinka Marinho said.
Marinho told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that though the authorities had put in place the necessary machinery to ensure safety on the waterways, passengers should
always wear life jackets while on boats and ferries.
He emphasized that passengers should always fasten their life jackets while on board as this was the best form of protection in the case of any eventuality.
He urged ferry operators to ensure that vessels were fully berthed and engines stopped before passengers were allowed to board or disembark.
He said that passengers should listen to the instructions of boat drivers and must be allowed to disembark before other passengers could board.
The LASWA director also advised vessel operators against overloading and speeding and to make available life jackets for children.
â€œBoat operators should not allow passengers to board the boats without life jackets and the operators should comply with all laid down rules by LASWA.
â€œThey should reduce boat speed because of turbid muddy waters that cause hazards in the water.
â€œThey should be cautious with bridge abutments that catch debris and cause swiveling waves,â€ he said.
Marinho also warned against night journeys saying it could be unsafe.
He said there was penalty for operators who failed to comply with the rules, especially on the use of life jackets.
He called on residents of riversides to stay away from the lagoons as erosion could cause the shores to cave in.
He also advised them to watch over their children to avert drowning.