By Ovie Okpare
A student of the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State has reportedly drowned along the Warri River in a private boat mishap.
It was also gathered that a caterer attached to the school also died in the accident bringing the number of victims to two.
The incident occurred on Friday when the deceased and other passengers were travelling from the university community to Warri.
Sources told our correspondent that the victims boarded a private boat against the school boat which they already paid for as part of their school fees.
NIGER DELTA TODAY learnt that aside the student and the caterer (names withheld), other students who boarded the private board survived the accident.
It was not clear at the time of filing this report what happened but some of the victims recounted the board capsized on their way to Warri on Friday morning.
One of the students who boarded the boat in the ill-fated trip said some of the passengers including locals were not wearing lifejackets and do not know how to swim.
The source added that the lifeless bodies of the deceased were later recovered by local divers.
The deceased student, an Ijaw by tribe, was said to have been buried by his family on Friday evening while the corpse of the caterer was deposited at the Warri Central Hospital.
A top of official of the university confirmed the incident to NIGER DELTA TODAY on Saturday saying that the boat driver has been arrested by operatives of Marine Police.
The official, who declined to be mentioned in this report, added, “They boarded a private boat against the school rule that students and staff should only make use of school owned boats and any other provided by management to ferry students to Warri.
“It was on their way going that the boat capsized. Unfortunately, one of our students and caterer drowned in the process.
“We don’t know exactly what happened but the boat driver is already answering questions from police. The school has never recorded a case of boat mishap since we commenced academic activities through our boats.”
An operative of the Marine Police confirmed the incident, saying that the boat driver was in their custody.
However, the spokesman of the Delta State Police Command, DSP Bright Edafe could not be reached for comment at the time of filing this report.