The capacity of the Nigerian Navy to respond to maritime emergencies has been applauded by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State.
Director General of NEMA, represented by a delegation headed by Mr Fortunatus Anyanwu lauded the Navy for the very quick response which resulted in the rescue of 11 of the 14 medical students who drowned in Calabar waterways last Saturday.
The commendation was made when the delegation stopped by at the NNS Victory headquarters, Calabar, after the discovery and burial of the three corpses at the Military Cemetery.
He disclosed that NEMA was confident in the capacity of the Nigerian Navy, which they said remains a critical stakeholder in search and rescue operations, particularly in the maritime environment, as well as other disaster management in the country.
Describing the navy’s rescue of the students as a heroic act, he recalled the crucial role played by the Navy in rescue operations, movement of relief materials and distribution of palliative materials to flood victims in 2022.
The NEMA delegation further reiterated the effectiveness of Navy Units as part of the architecture for Disaster Response Management in the country.
“We at NEMA will always seek the support of the Navy in disaster management. We must say that your swift response which saved 11 out of the 14 students has been a heroic act. The navy is truly a dependable ally in maritime emergencies in Nigeria,” he said.
In a statement, Gov Bassey Otu had also commended the navy and local divers and the police for making the country proud by their swift responses which saved the 11 survivors.
Responding, the Commander of NNS VICTORY, Commodore Vincent Gbaranwi thanked the NEMA Team for the visit and stated that the Navy will continue to provide safety and security to lives and properties in the nation’s maritime ways.
He assured NEMA that “search and rescue” is one of the statutory mandates of the Navy, and a major component of the Chief of the Naval Staff’s Strategic Directives.
The navy boss commended his men that took part in the rescue efforts.
He advised seafarers to always adhere to basic maritime safety requirements to forestall such distress situations.