Another tragedy occurred on Monday, as a boat mishap along the Brass Water Front in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa, reportedly claimed the lives of four soldiers of the ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ in Bayelsa State.
It will be recalled that a month ago, three soldiers were also shot dead by militants at the Nembe waterfront in Nembe Coastal community in Bayelsa.
It was gathered that the incident, which occurred at about 10:a.m on Monday, created panic among newly deployed soldiers.
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 capsized 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 capsized 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.”
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, adding “but don’t have details on the numbers of casualty.”
Attempts to get confirmation from the authorities of the Joint Military Action known as Operation Delta Safe (ODS), failed as the Acting Coordinator of the Joint Media Centre, Lieutenant Commander Thomas Otuji did not pick his calls.
However, Captain Lazarus confirmed the incident, saying the command would issue a statement on the boat mishap that claimed the lives of the four soldiers.