Nine WAEC staff members aboard distressed [ sinking ]vessel!!!


It has been reported that on July 17, 2021, the Liberia Maritime Authority received an alert that a vessel travelling from Monrovia to the port of Harper, Maryland County, is currently in a distressed situation on the seas. The vessel started to take in water and now, there is a search and rescue effort ongoing. 

However, what is striking about this issue is that there are nine staff members of the West African Examination Council, WAEC, onboard that vessel, in addition to nine other persons who are part of the crew members. Now, how those people got on the vessel to travel has confused the Maritime boss, Mr. Lenn Eugene Nagbe. According to Hon. Nagbe, that particular vessel, the NIKO INVANKA, was under a current detention order and was not allowed to sail, so how did it even get in the waters is an issue. Besides, this vessel was never allowed, permitted, or licensed to operate as a passenger carrier ever during it's lifetime. This means this vessel was never supposed to have those WAEC staff members on board in the first place

Even though the search and rescue efforts are still ongoing, which is paramount now, the Maritime boss has made it clear that this issue of transporting passengers, especially during a time that the vessel was detained and did not also have license to carry passengers, will be investigated.   

Full Press Statement (Text)

Press Statement On The Distress Incident Onboard Niko Ivanka 
Members of the press, the Liberia Maritime Authority regrets to inform the press and the general public that on July 17, 2021 at 1551hrs it received an alert from the Liberia Coast Guard through its Monrovia Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Center informing about a distress situation onboard NIKO IVANKA, a locally registered vessel trading between the Ports of Monrovia and Harper own and operated by HYLAEA INC.

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. It is important to state that Arcelor Mittal Liberia, Sea Shepard 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 distressed vessel, NIKO IVANKA, had onboard a crew complement of nine persons based on the crewlist submitted by the Agent. Also, nine personnel of the West African Examination Council – Monrovia Office were onboard as passengers. 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.
As it stands, we are pleased to inform the general public that search and rescue operations overnight rescued eleven persons and we are hopeful of recovering everyone, while the search and rescue operation is still ongoing.
Signed: __________________________
             Abdul D. Kanneh
Corporate Communications Manager, LiMA

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