Atleast 3 Medical Students missing in Marina Resort Boat Cruise Incident in Calabar.
Three of 14 medical students from different medical schools in Nigeria have drowned in waterways in Calabar, Cross River State, while having a boat cruise.
It was learnt that divers from the Nigerian Navy were able to rescue 11 of them after the boat capsized Saturday afternoon.
3 of the medical students, who are in Calabar for the Nigeria Medical Students Games, are yet-to-be found.
The students were said to have converged on Medical School Calabar for the 2023 Nigeria Medical Association Health Week.
An official of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Cross River State chapter who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the incident to our correspondent.
He said the three drowned students were from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and University of Uyo.
He said, “The 2023 Nigeria Medical Association Health Week and the Medical School in Calabar is hosting this year’s health week. Students across medical schools in Nigeria came to Calabar just to have their annual health week.
“As part of their social activities, the plan was to go to Marina Resort and visit the Slave History Museum. Some of the students decided to go on a boat cruise. The boat capsized when they were about to move to Tinapa.
“There were 14 persons including the driver of the boat on board. Eleven of them came out safely while three of them – two from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and one from University of Uyo – drowned.
“The navy haa been trying to see how they can retrieve their bodies. They told us to come tomorrow (Sunday) perhaps the bodies would have floated by then.”
The boat was reportedly derailed by high waves as soon as it left the Marina Resort jetty.
“The boat capsized due to the high wave on the Calabar Channel and the 14 passengers, including the driver were involved.
“Fortunately, the Nigerian Navy patrol teams were nearby so their divers were able to rescue 11,” a source from the Nigerian Navy Ship Victory said.
PRESS STATEMENT FROM CROSS RIVER STATE GOVERNMENT
Cross River Governor Orders Investigation Into Cruise Boat Accident, Commends Navy, Villagers For Prompt Response
Cross River State Governor, Senator (Prince) Bassey Otu, has ordered investigation into the cruise boat mishap involving 14 medical students at the popular Marina Resort in Calabar, the state capital.
The governor, who is saddened that 3 of the medical students, who are in Calabar for the Nigeria Medical Students Games, are yet-to-be found, charged security and rescue agencies as well as local villagers involved in the operations to find the missing students and reunite them with their families.
Otu decried the safety standards at the resort, vowing that anyone found guilty to have compromised on safety would be severely sanctioned.
“The news of a cruise boat mishap at the Marina Resort, a tourist and relaxation destination in Calabar, is saddening and calls for concern not only as your governor but as a parent.
“To imagine that the boat was overcrowded and some of those on it were without life jackets is of even greater concern, and the more reason why the state government will be investigating the incident and all those found culpable of having compromised on safety standards will face the wrath of the law.
“As a government, our administration remains committed to protecting the sanctity of life and providing an enabling environment for business, tourism and peaceable living. Therefore, any untoward action that could derail our objective will not be tolerated,” the governor stated.
He further expressed his joy that all but for one of the rescued students were out of hospital and was confident that the remaining one will pull through as doctors say he is stable and responding to treatment.
Governor Otu was full of praise for personnel of the Nigerian Navy and local villagers who responded swiftly to the hapless revellers and rescued 11 of the 14 passengers on the boat.
Chief Press Secretary to the Executive Governor
Cross River State