At Last: Transport Ministry Sets Up Board To Investigate MT Tank, MT Elixir Ship Accident   

Almost two years after two tanker vessels, MT Tank (IMO No 8681460) and another vessel named MT Elixir (IMO No 9282510) collided along Bonga terminal offshore Warri, Delta State, the Federal Ministry of Transportation has set up a marine board of enquiry to investigate the collision.In a public Notice released by the ministry in Lagos on Monday, the board is expected to seat for one week between Monday August 21 and Friday August 25, 2017.The two ships collided on 19th October 2015, claiming the lives of nine Nigerian crewmen on-board the MT Tank. The accident led to the death of nine Nigerian crew members, identified as: Kulo Eddy Osang, Arerebo Arepade Clifford, Finecountry Timipouadeh, Akindele Akinbanjon and Odafe E. Offeh.Others were Magaji Joshua, Isaac Kojo Money and Salami Malcolm. Others are Ejila Philip, Moses Apobowei and Sambo M.The ill-fated MT Tank is a Nigeria-owned but, Liberia-flagged vessel, while the second tanker MT Elixir is a foreign vessel. The duo collided about 65 miles ashore, and just about 10 nautical miles south west of the Bonga FPSO near Warri.As at the time of the accident almost two years ago, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) took credit for rescuing three out of the 12 crew member on board the ship. The other nine were never found till date.However in the public notice signed by Chief Magistrate Adebisi O. Femi-Segun, President of the board and E.I Swanta, Secretary a copy of which was sighted by Shipping Position Daily, the board appealed to maritime sector stakeholders and members of the public for relevant information on the ship accident.The Notice read in part: “The board of enquiries hereby notifies members of the public, communities, organization and groups that have any relevant information and suggestions that could help the board in its assignment to submit memorandum to the secretariat of the board located at the marine court in Apapa within one week”“The board wishes to use this opportunity to assure all port users and investors in our maritime industry of government preparedness to protect their investments including lives and properties in and around the port”.The board also appealed to members of the public and maritime stakeholders to take advantage of the opportunity to bare their mind on the accident.Shipping Position Daily had exclusively reported months after the accident that families of the deceased crew have been compensated. While reacting to the setting up of the board, a ship owner, Captain Deji Abegunde told Shipping Position Daily that the enquiry is basically to prevent future recurrence of similar accident. He however said that parties could use the findings in court.