A commercial boat en route Apapa today cruised and injured a fishman who was fishing along Topo waterways in Badagry area of Lagos.
Mr Sunday Ayedogbon, the Chairman, Association of Badagry Fishermen (ABF) said in Badagry that the fishman was on the water fishing when the boat collided with him and his boat capsized.
The chairman said the fisherman who happened to be his son, Sejiro Ayedogbon, a 22-year-old student of Osun State Polytechnic, left the house around 10a.m to get fish in Badagry waterways.
“Few minutes later, I received a telephone call from someone that a commercial boat going to Apapa has claimed over his canoe, breaking it and my son was nowhere to be found.
“I quickly mobilized some guys and we took a boat and went in search of him, but when we got to the scene of the incident along ASCON, the current had moved the wooden canoe to Naval base side.
“The victim of the incident was luck to be holding the spoilt canoe for survival.
“He was immediately rescued and rushed to a private hospital for treatment.
“Sejiro was luck because immediately the speed boat claimed his wooden canoe, he jumped out, holding his canoe and it was this that saved him from sinking inside the river,” he said.
Ayedogbon said the incident was a surprise to him because it was a broad day, adding that the boat operator cannot say he could not see the fishman from 15kilometres away.
Commenting on the incident, Mr Ibrahim Famuyiwa, the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA)’s Head of Operations said the incident was a sad one.
Famuyiwa said the authority would definitely sanctioned the boat operator that caused the incident.
He said the authority was doing its best to ensure management of safety on waterways.
“From time to time, we have been having challenges with the fishmen and boat operators on waterways.
“The fishmen claimed that they are the custodian of waterways because of their fishing activities.
“But now with the state looking at improving their transportation system with ferries and boats, we now have new stakeholders at the waterways.
“There is no way the fishermen can use the entire waterways for fishing exploits without considering other stakeholders.
“We have advised the fishermen to reduce their fishing activities to night while the boat operators should also stop work by 7p.m,” he said.