Why NIMASA Can Respond To Distress Calls In Nigerian Maritime Domain With Ease

 By Stephen Ubanna

 It is no longer news that the Nigeiran Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA,  under the Leadership  of Bashir Jamoh,  controlled  Deep Blue Project,  have the proficient Crew,  manning  its Deep Blue Project  weapons that can respond to emergency situations at any time .

 Recall that the Federal government in 2017, had awarded a $195 million contract to HLSI Services and Technologies Limited, an Israeli s firm to supply maritime weapons to the agency. As at the end of  2022, the Israeli firm had delivered  16 armoured vehicles for coastal patrol, , 17,  Fast Interceptor Boats,  Two Special Mission aircrafts  for the Surveillance of Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zones, EEZ,   three special mission helicopters, Two Special mission vessels and  four unmanned Aerial vehicles, to the maritime regulatory body.  The maritime security weapons, according to the agency sources   have  been fully deployed for operations in Maritime waters and the Gulf of Guinea and had at various times responded to  distress calls.

  Only recently, Jamoh, the NIMASA, Director General had received a distress calls, not from an ocean-going vessel attacked by Pirates or sea robbers but from  the Safety  Officer  on MT ALIMA,  who had reported  that while cleaning the tanks  of the vessel by a private cleaning company, ‘’eight of the workers developed complications’ due to insufficient oxygen available  in the tank to sustain them’’.

Giving that the distress call s requires the saving of lives may have encouraged the NIMASA, Director General , to quickly reach out to  the agency Head of the Deep Blue Project and  Maritime  Safety Department, who was said to have deployed  on Te of  the 17 Fast  Intervention Boats  for the rescue operations of the Private  cleaning Company  workers trapped in the vessels being cleaned.

 Not that the NIMASA, Chief Executive officer, CEO, had received the distress calls at about 11.30 Pm on Thursday, February 2, 2023,  and the position of the vessel at the  time of the call was  06*20.9’’N003*21.9Eat the single buoy mooring area in Lagos, the nation’s commercial merve centre.

NIMASA Rescue Team At Single Buoy Mooring Area

Osagie Edward, an Assistant Director and the maritime regulatory body spokesperson, had said that the Head of the agency Deep Blue Project and Maritime Safety Department had promptly deployed his men to the scene as directed by  the NIMASA CEO. The rescue Team were said to be total control of the situation that they have rescued a total of seven of the Private Cleaning company workers.

The NIMASA helmsman , who could not hide his feelings had thanked  the rescue who went for the operation  for a job well-done and urged  them  ‘’to keep  the maritime tradition  of round – the- clock watchkeeping  and timely response  at all times’’.

The seven survivors were aid to have been taken to the military Hospital at Ikoyi,Lagos Metropolis, for proper medical attention.  Osagie, the agency spokesperson, confirmed that the victims are currently recovering at various degrees, noting that five of them are now stable  while one is still in critical condition.

Jamoh : DG,, NIMASA And Others

Many believe that but for the quick intervention of the NIMASA, boss, to the plight of the Private cleaning Company workers at that late hour of the night of Thursday, 2023, all the eight of them would have died.

Maritime analysts believe that the prompt response of Jamoh, the NIMASA boss and his Deep Blue Poject and Maritime Safety Department officials clearly confirms his oft- repeated assurance to the maritime Communitys of the agency’s ‘’ever-ready 24- hour surveillance of Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea to respond to distress calls  using any of the procured  sea, air  and land assets.

Appealing to industry operators ‘’to be meticulous  about basic  safety  standards  at all times’’,  he had  advised that  ‘’anyone  working on board  vessels  should update  themselves  with required training  that complies  with  Standards  of Training  Certification and Watch keeping’, STW,’’.

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