Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), in collaboration with Total Energies EP Nigeria Limited, successfully rescued occupants of a distressed fishing vessel from São Tomé Príncipe that had been adrift in the ocean for 11 days.
The rescue mission was initiated by Total Energies Nigeria Limited after their team spotted the distressed vessel at sea around Offshore Operational Field, OML 100. They promptly alerted the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (RMRCC) located in NIMASA to inform them of the situation.
Following the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Safety of Lives at Sea (SOLAS) protocol, the Total team took immediate action to rescue the occupants of the distressed vessel. Once the occupants were safely aboard, they were handed over to NIMASA while the distressed boat was anchored at OSHE HONMI (OML 100).
NIMASA’s Search and Rescue SARS clinic provided first aid to the distressed passengers and comprehensive medical attention was later given to one of the passengers who spoke only Portuguese. The passenger was subsequently handed over to the Nigerian Immigration Service to facilitate his return to his home country, São Tomé Príncipe.
The director-general of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh commended the collaboration between NIMASA and Total Energies, emphasising that safety in the maritime sector is a top priority for the Agency. He stated that ensuring safety and security in the maritime domain is an integral part of NIMASA’s three-point agenda.
Jamoh highlighted the importance of fostering collaboration as a means to achieve NIMASA’s mandate effectively. He stressed that safety is the responsibility of everyone in the maritime sector and encouraged continuous efforts to promote safety in all aspects of maritime operations in Nigeria.
NIMASA recently acquired five enforcement vessels to strengthen its Flag, Port State and Search and Rescue operations within the Nigerian maritime domain. This move is an expression of the agency’s commitment to enhancing safety and security in the maritime sector.
The Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention, an IMO Convention ratified by Nigeria, places NIMASA as the implementing body for ensuring the safety and protection of lives at sea. The successful rescue operation is a testament to the agency’s dedication to upholding these safety standards.