Operation in the south claims its lives among the servicemen Troops of Operation Crocodile Smile have suffered a major loss following a boat accident along the Brass Water Front in Brass local government area of Bayelsa state.
According to Leadership, the incident which occurred at about 10 am on Monday, September 5, led to the death of four soldiers by drowning and created panic among newly deployed soldiers. Also missing are service rifles belonging to the missing soldiers.
Though it could not be confirmed the mission of the Soldiers in the area, it is not unconnected to the security operations against renewed militancy, sea piracy and search for those threatening to hoist the Niger Delta Republic flag.
An indigene of the Community simply identified as Etta, told Leadership that 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.”
Meanwhile the military authorities have sought the help of local divers and youths to assist 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.
Comrade Lyyod Sese, the state chairman of the Maritime Union who confirmed the incident, said the union had recieved the report on the boat incident but don’t have details on the numbers of casualty.