Tragedy has befallen Benue State in Nigeria as 65 people lost their lives in a boat accident on the Agatu river Saturday. The victims were mostly women and children and were traveling in an old engine boat, fleeing Agatu which had been submerged by a flood. They were heading to Lokoja after their homes were destroyed in the natural disaster.
The boat accident happened sometime between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. local time between Obangana and Lokoja on the river. Authorities have yet to recover the bodies of all whom were on the vessel. Those who did not flee the area were mainly trapped by the flood, which affected several areas in Nigeria. Many of the homes of the more prominent residents, including the properties of the former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Chief Michel Aondookaa, as well as the properties of the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Adu Ogbe, were also lost to the ravaging flood.
The area that was most affected was Makurdi, where over 5,000 homes became submerged in the flood. The state Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Honorable John Ngbede, said the state had yet to quantify the damage. He estimates the flood cost the area over N10 billion (nearly 64 million USD), and added the state government had written to the Federal Government to come to its aid, as “it is out of the reach of the state government.”
Although the flood was a natural disaster that could not have been prevented, the boat accident likely could have been avoided. In the United States, boat accidents occur on a daily basis, especially in Florida, yet not as much attention is paid to incidents at sea as to those on land. When someone is injured on a vessel, whether it is a larger commercial cruise ship or a smaller personal watercraft (including a motor boat or jet ski), those victims are entitled to seek legal help.
The vast majority of boat accidents are the result of someone’s negligence. Our boat accident attorneys understand how to identify and prove this negligence, following a tragedy at sea, in order to obtain just compensation for the victims. In the end, surviving victims of boat accidents and their loved ones may be left shaken, but those who obtain legal help from experienced and qualified boat accident attorneys are much more likely to be compensated for their losses.
We have over 165 years of combined experience in maritime and admiralty law and will fight to protect your rights as a boat accident victim. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries and losses, which may include money damages, medical care, property damage reimbursement, and even lost wages. Our attorneys will work diligently to help secure you and your loved ones the compensation you deserve. Call us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your options in filing a boat accident claim.