By Progress Godfrey, Abuja, Nigeria
A Liberian Vessel with 18 passengers onboard Niko Ivanka has sunk, according to a report contained in a press statement made available to THE SUMMIT Sunday.
The distressed vessel, Niko Ivanka had onboard a crew complement of 9 persons based on the crew list submitted by the Agent and 9 personnel of West African Examination Council- Monrovia Office were onboard as Passengers, totaling 18.
The statement which was signed by Liberian Maritime commissioner General Hon. Eugene Nagbe, disclosed that Liberia Maritime Academy received an alert from the Liberia Coast Guard through its Monrovia Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Center on Saturday at 1551hrs informing about a distress situation onboard NIKO IVANKA, a locally registered vessel trading between the ports of Monrovia and Harper owned and operated by HYLAEA INC
The statement reads, “The information received indicates that the vessel departed the Port of Monrovia for Harper on Saturday, July 17, 2021 at 0600hrs. The vessel while underway to Harper, about 6 nautical miles off the Coast of Marshall City, reportedly started to take in water.
“The Liberia Maritime Authority, Ministry of National Defense, and Armed Forces of Liberia (Liberia Coast Guard), Mobilized resources including assets and personnel and immediately commenced search and rescue operations to attend to the distressed vessel.”
Hon. Eugene further stated that Arcelor Mittal Liberia, Sea Shepherd and other partners were immediately contacted to utilize their assets to assist in the search and rescue operations.
“Arcelor Mittal Liberia launched its two tugboats with Coast Guard Personnel onboard from the Port of Buchanan to the reported scene of the incident between Buchanan and Marshall City.
“The Liberia Maritime Authority wishes to State that the subject vessel was detained and not allowed to sail. Also, the vessel was at no time authorized or permitted to carry Passengers or operate as a passenger vessel,” the statement added
He said that search and rescue operations overnight rescued 11 persons and expressed hope that everyone would be recovered, in the course of search and rescue operation