The rescue of a distressed vessel of Sao Tome and Principe origin drifting in the ocean is underway, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said.

The Federal Ministry of Transportation parasatal said its officials are working with their counterparts in Total Energies EP Nigeria Limited to rescue occupants of a distressed fishing vessel which was adrift in the ocean for 11 days.

A statement signed by its Assistant Director, Public Relations, Mr. Edward Osagie said the rescue team from Total Energies Nigeria Limited on noticing a distressed vessel at sea around Offshore Operational Field, OML 100, immediately sent signals to the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (RMRCC), located in NIMASA informing the agency of the situation.

The statement which was made available to Maritime Bits said in line with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Safety of Lives at Sea (SOLAS) protocol, the Total team promptly initiated a rescue operation and immediately handed over the occupants of the distressed vessel to NIMASA while the boat was anchored at OSHE HONMI (OML 100).

It said through its Search and Rescue (SARS) clinic provided first aid, and later comprehensive medical attention to the distressed passenger who speaks only Portuguese and has since been handed over to the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to ensure he returns to his country.

It quoted the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh applauding the cooperation between the agency and Total Energies for the swift response, noting that safety of the maritime sector is cardinal to the heart of the current leadership of the agency, which forms part of the three-point agenda.

His words: “We will continue to prioritise safety of lives and property in the maritime sector, while also embracing collaboration as a tool to actualizing our mandate. Safety is everyone’s business, hence we must continue to preach safety in the day-to-day affairs of the Nigerian maritime sector.”

Maritime Bits had reported that NIMASA recently acquired five enforcement vessels to enhance its Flag, Port state and Search and Rescue operations in the Nigerian maritime domain.

SOLAS Convention is an IMO convention ratified by Nigeria with NIMASA as the implementing body.


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