The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has released its preliminary report on the boat mishap that claimed the lives of actor Junior Pope and four others in Anam River on April 10.

In its report released on Friday, May 24 and presented by its director, Cpt. Alex Baden, the agency said it was not officially notified of the accident but got to know about it through social media. According to the NSIB,  investigators from the Enugu Regional Office of NSIB were dispatched to the accident site on 12 April 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

The preliminary report stated that the only passenger on the boat with a life jacket came with it as no life jacket was 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. The 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, adding the authority must ensure adequate safety measures are implemented and enforced in our inland waterways.