Lagos, Aug. 1, 2023: The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), working with officials of Total Energies EP Nigeria limited, has rescued occupants of a distressed fishing vessel belonging to São Tomé and Príncipe.
Mr Osagie Edward, Assistant Director, Public Relations, NIMASA, in a statement in Lagos on Monday, said that the vessel was adrift in the ocean for 11 days.
According to Edward a rescue team from Total Energies Nigeria Limited noticed a distressed vessel at sea around Offshore Operational Field, OML 100.
He stated that the team immediately sent signals to the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre(RMRCC), located in NIMASA, informing them of the situation.
“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.
“The boat was anchored at OSHE HONMI (OML 100),” he said.
He noted that the agency had through its Search and Rescue SARS clinic provided first aid, and later comprehensive medical attention to the distressed passenger who speaks only Portuguese.
He added that the passenger had since been handed over to the Nigerian Immigration Service to ensure he return to his country.
Reacting to the development, Edwards said that the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, applauded the cooperation between NIMASA and Total Energies for the swift response.
Jamoh noted that safety of the maritime sector was cardinal to the heart of the current leadership of the Agency, which forms part of the three-point Agenda.
“We will continue to prioritise safety of lives and property in the maritime sector, while also embracing collaboration as a tool to actualising 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,” Jamoh said.
It is noteworthy that NIMASA recently acquired five enforcement vessels to enhance its Flag, Port state and Search and Rescue operations in the Nigerian maritime domain.
Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention is an IMO Convention, ratified by Nigeria, with NIMASA as the implementing body.