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Nigerian Tribune __ Wednesday, 23 February,_20_1_1_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

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Vietnam boat accident blamed on negligence

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IETNAMESE police blamed human error for the sinking of a tourist boat in Vietnam which killed 12 people, including one Briton, after a valve which allowed water to mme into the boat to mol the engine was found left open overnight. Subsequently, the vessel's captain and a crew member have been arrested. Police spokesman, Le Thanh Binh, who identified one of the victims as Stuart McCormick, 30, from Irvine, Ayrshire, who died with 11 holidaymakers and a Vietnamese guide in Halong Bay, also remarked that their wooden boatwas touring the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Quang Ninh province when it went down. 'The initial police investigation showed that the man in charge of the boat engine forgot to close the valve that allowed water in to mol the engine before he, the captain and other crew went to bed," observed Mr. Binh, speaking to Associated Press news agency, noting that the engine which was turned off, equally prevented pump from running to push the water out By the time the captain and crew woke to find the boat filled with water, it was too late and the vessel sank quickly, he said. Survivors reported seeing a wooden plank on the ship ripping away, then gushing water inundated the boat and quickly pulled it under, near Titov Island. All 12 people w1m died were in cabins on the boat. The other holiday-makers who did not survive were from US, Australia, Japan, Russia, France, Sweden and Switzerland, when some nine foreigners and six locals were rescued from the boa t. The boat, named Bien Mo (Dream of the Ocean) and owned by Truong Hai Co, was anchored alongside dozens of other cruise boats and weather conditions were said to be calm at the time of the sinking. Halong Bay, renowned for its hundreds of tiny islands and freshwater swamp forests, is one of Vietnam's most popular tourist destinations; and it is near the Chinese border in the Gulf of Tonkin, about three hours east of the capital, Hanoi.

-A river totally covered by water hyacinth at Bayeiku community in Lagos State.

Water hyacitlih crumbles eronomic adivite in Lagos commurn·ty Dele Aderibigbe, Lagos

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C::0NOMIC activities of. the. people of . Bayelku, m the Bayelku-Igbogbo local d I government ev~ opment area of Ikorodu, ill Lagos, . . h b IS now m s ru:n les as wa-

!~~.hya~in~h ha~.;.ade

IS mg usmess I ICUIt for the inhabitants of that community. Investigation by the

Nigerian

Tribune

showed that the community had sent save-oursoul (50S) messages to relevant authorities concernit\'g"ih~i~c'p"li'g'ht se~e'ra'l times, until it dawned on the people of the commu nity that neither the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) nor the Lagos State government had anything to offer other. I! was learnt that while Governor Raji Fashola was totally engrossed with the business of ensuring his reelection goals, NIWA, on the other hand, was preoccupied with the task of executing the contract of dredging the lower River Niger. "At the community level, we have made many efforts to call the attention of the authorities to our plight, but it had been to no avail," one of the locals, who simply identified himself as Adegun, disclosed, adding that they could also understand

campaigns. But what of the Federal Government?" he asked, refering to NIWA f h' h ' no hmg ~ aht smce t e water yacmt took over their main business, life had become difficult. When the Nige 'an

Tribune contacted NIWA spa k esman, MAO r. . Fadi!e, he explained that only the Lagos Sector Engineer, Mr. Joseph Ororo,. could speak on the issue. It would be recalled that NIWA last showed any genuine interest in the business of controlling h ' th aft water yaon er some market wo~en a~d chi!dren on busmess tnp from

IlaJ'e waterside area of Ondo State, were trapped atEpe for six days, during th . f P . J h e reIgn a nnee a n Okechukwu as Minister of Transport. However, contact with Mr. Ororo also offered no hope as the Sector Overseer h merely confirmed tat, though the authority was aware of the people's plight, there was currently

Dele Aderibigb e, Lagos

that he found the Nigerian channel very safe

of 232.33 meters, arriving Apapa Port on Feb-

and highly navigable, t' th t no mg a government's continous dredging of the nation's ports which h d alread 'h a y broug t the Lagos channel to an 11.5 metre draft, was commendable. Built in 2008 at 'Hyundai Dockyard in ' South Korea the ship ' h ' MV IZMIR, wit a length

ruary, 8, 2011 with 3,500 containers for Nigeria,

wh Fash I f y not ahave a, any or now, might time for them. h "Fas ala is engrossed with his re-electioneering

no ,~d to help them yet. We have taken some pro-active measures to ease the impact of water h yaon . th·ill the Lagosarea, butwene~dfundstotackle areas whIch are serIOusly affected like Bayeiku. We are waiting for funds, and once we have that, we will also resume work on those areas," explained Mr. Ororo, confinning that for th . Ih e commuruty, rea ope mIght actually not be in SIght.

Maersk s.nipmaster declares NlOgenaO channel safe ~{a~

THE

h h Dutc s ip master of the 4 000 container ve;sel,

Captain, Simon M. Drost, which sailed into Apapa th h h is mont, as expressed satisfaction with the ongoing government dredging of the Lagos channel, highlighting that he did not encounter any diffiI b f h cu ty e are bert ing his huge vessel. He made the observation, just as the foreign shipping giant, Maersk Line, announced its intention to officially change its rotation to run from the Far East into Lagos, without first going through the port of Abidjan. "We did not encounter any problem," declared Drost, stressing

was late to sail off, according to Captain Drost, for Ghana's Tema Port and Abidjan, en-route the Far East. Meanwhile, the Maersk has indicated an intention to c h ange its rotation to a new one that would re-route its voy-

age to run a Far East voyage direct into Lagos. The rotation, which is d t h expecte a save t e shipping company several millions of Naira on kl b ' . h I wee y aSls as rIg t Y . ,. predicted by the NIge~" n'an Tn'bune last week, b I su sequent y elevates the Nigerian ports, at the expense of other ports within the West African' sub region.

Fishing boat with 7 onboard missing in China

ARITIME au- Thursday, said a statethorities in ment from the city's marisouth China's ·time rescue center. Families called the Guangdong Province have been searching for a fishermen, all of whom natives of fishing boat with seven were people on board that was Zhanjiang, at around 9 reported missing late Fri- p.m. Friday, only to find that their cell phones were day. The boat, registered in switched off. Family memthe, port city of bers said the boat was Zhanjiang, set sail on heading to Wenchang

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County, Hainan Province, said the statement. At the families' request, the rescue center and city fishery department dispatched 10 rescue vessels and a heli~opter around to search for the vessel. The search entered a third day on Monday, but no progress had been reported.


NIGERIAN TRIBUNE, 23 FEBRUARY, 2011