Liberia Coast Guard Rescues Many People

The Liberia Coast Guard (LCG), a component of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), leading a search and rescue operations, has pulled at least 11 people from the water.

This success story occurred after a locally registered vessel, MV Niko Ivanka, sank at about 4 NM off the coast of Liberia, between Little Bassa and Marshall.

MV Niko Ivanka took off Saturday, 17 July 2021, from the Port of Monrovia and was headed for Liberia’s southeastern Harper, Maryland County. MV NIKO IVANKA vessel is believed to have 9 crew members (1 Swedish, 2 Chinese and 6 Liberians), 9 WAEC staffers and others.

The Search and Rescue (SAR) Operations started late Saturday, 17 July 2021 upon request from the Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA) around 1600 hrs 17 July 2021 that a vessel named MV NIKO IVANKA was in distress and has requested SOS.

The LCG which was on its regular patrols in the Cape Mount County area around the Sierra Leonean border was rerouted to begin the SAR Operations.

During a press conference held on Sunday, 18 July 2021, Liberia’s Maritime Authority Commissioner, Eugene Lenn Nagbe, disclosed in the capital Monrovia that the Search and rescue operations are ongoing.

Commissioner Nagbe said that the ship had left Monrovia on Saturday morning and was heading for the central port city of Buchanan when it began to take on water.

The Maritime Commissioner said that the vessel was not authorised to carry passengers and that it had earlier been placed “under detention orders” because it was unseaworthy. “Our priority is the search and rescue,” he said. “We will continue to exert every effort”.

The LCG along with the US-based non-governmental, non-profit marine conservation group, Sea Shepherd, disclosed that about 26 individuals were onboard the Niko Ivanka at the point of sinking; 11 persons including a female have been rescued, while the rest are presumed to be missing.

SAR Operations will continue up to 48 hrs and after we will transition to recovery based on the recommendations form the SAR team conducting the mission. There first batch of 11 survivors arrived on 19 July 2021 at the LCG base around 0730 hrs.

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