Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Emma Kowa -Jalloh has provided update on the deceased and those still unaccounted for, on the boat accident that occurred between Jui and Tagrin on Tuesday 2nd August, 2022.
The Minister gave update on the incident yesterday at the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources conference room at Youyi Building, Freetown.
According to the Fisheries Minister, nine fishermen were presumed dead, and the presumed victims of the capsized boat were: Ibrahim Bangura, Momoh Sonnie, Foday Kamara, Yusif Conteh, Mohamed Kamara and four others. They were staff of SABCO Fishing Company with offices at Kissy and Jui.
All nine bodies of the people unaccounted for after a gruesome boat accident have today been recovered and brought to the Connaught Hospital Mortuary.
Speaking to a cross section of relatives who went to identify the bodies, Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister, Hon. Emma Kowa Jalloh, expressed her heartfelt condolences to them on behalf of government and informed that post mortem examination will be done on the bodies which have almost gone bad before they are handed to them for befitting burial.
She pleaded with the bereaved families to exercise patience and allow the process to go on.
Minister Kowa-Jalloh also met with representatives of SABCO fishing Company.
The Minister furthered that the Government has through her Ministry taken proactive steps as police are at present investigating the circumstances that resulted to the capsizing of the boat.
“According to information provided by the boat owners who were directly involved and those that were called to rescue, it was revealed that the passenger boat that capsized was used to transport workers from the fishing trawler to land. It was also revealed that it was a case of overloading and not a collision as it was initially claimed on social media,” the Fisheries ministry stated in a press statement.
The Ministry noted that the trawler had life jackets onboard, while the passenger boat did not have any onboard.
The Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, on behalf of the Government expressed deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the fishermen who were presumed dead.
The Minister stressed that the Government cares for the lives of citizens, adding that the sad incident was a teachable lesson to avert the recurrence of any sea incident.
Minister Swaray urged the fishing company to cooperate fully with the Fisheries and Marine Resources Ministry and the police as investigation into the incident progresses.
The head of SABCO fishing crew, Alpha Samura, disclosed that the presumed victims were those seated in the middle of the boat when it capsized.