Just In: 4 soldiers missing in boat mishap

Four soldiers of the Nigerian Army are currently missing due to a boat mishap on Monday in Bayelsa state, The Leadership reports.

The soldiers who are part of the Military Operation known as Operation Crocodile Smile are believed to have drowned when their boat had an accident along the Brass Water Front in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

The incident which occurred at about 10am on Monday, created panic among newly deployed soldiers. The service rifles belonging to the soldiers are also missing.
An indigene of the Community simply identified as Etta, said attempts by community youths and other soldiers to assist in a rescue operation failed as the drowned soldiers could not be found.
According to Etta, “In recent times, we have been noticing increased movement of soldiers in our area. The boat that capsize was conveying a new batch of soldiers to the water front. I was going to dispose of refuse at the waterfront and I saw uniformed soldiers struggling to rescue their colleagues in a capsize boat.
“When the confusion subsided, Four Soldiers were found to be missing with their rifles and other military gear. Some others that were rescued had their rifle missing and struggling out of the water.”
At about 2pm military authorities sought the assistance of local divers and youths to help in the search for the missing soldiers. One of the youths confirmed that the high tide of the water is impeding the search for the missing soldiers.
‎The State Chairman of the Maritime Union, Comrade Lyyod Sese who confirmed the incident, said the union had received the report on the boat incident, ”but doesn’t have details on the numbers of casualty.”
An official of the Brass Local Government Council, who pleaded anonymity, also confirmed the development, saying “but we thank God it was a natural incident.”
‎Attempts speak with the authorities of the Joint Military Action known as Operation Delta Safe (ODS), failed as the Acting Coordinator of the Joint Media Centre, Lt. Cmdr Otuji failed to answer his calls.

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