The Director General of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, on Monday said the agency would set up a Marine Rescue Unit to curb fatalities associated with water transportation in the state.
Oke-Osanyintolu made the disclosure in Lagos.
According to him, the uniqueness of our marine rescue unit is to have Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the local divers, because the Marine Police cannot dive in a troubled water.
“We are going to build the capacity of the local divers that have the ancestral knowledge about our waters in order to put all these into value, while we fine-tune their capacity building and give them new techniques.
“We have already purchased some sophisticated equipment like boat rescue, boat patrol and other equipment needed on waterways.
“We have put a lot of regulatory laws in place because we don’t want ferry that do not have operational value on our waters,’’ Oke-Osanyintolu said.
He urged ferry operators to always ensure that both the operators and the passengers make use of their life jacket and life buoy for safety and protection.
Oke-Osanyintolu said that LASWA would licence the ferry boat owners and ensure adequate collection of data of passengers using the ferries.
He pleaded with Lagos residents to adhere with the rules of the state government that prohibited ferries from plying from 7 p.m.
Oke-Osanyintolu said that the Marine rescue unit would also establish partnership with key stakeholders as well as local divers in order to maintain its uniqueness.