Ada canoe disaster: 4 fishers found, 3 alive
Four of the initial seven fishermen, who went missing following the canoe disaster at Ada last Thursday, have been found at the various communities along the coast of Ada and the neighbouring Volta Region. Three of them are alive.
The four were found yesterday morning and the search and rescue teams are racing against time to locate the remaining three fishermen, who are still missing as of press time yesterday, following the fishing expedition disaster.
The body of the dead was retrieved yesterday at Akplertorkor, a community in the Volta Region, according to the acting Chief Fisherman for Ada Foah, Nene Sappor.
The canoes the fishermen were travelling in capsised at the Ada estuary.
Personnel of the Ghana Navy are conducting operations along the coast between Ada and the Volta Region to find clues about the missing three after the four surfaced in communities along the area.
Officials of the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) were also in the affected communities, including Azizanya, to assist in the rescue efforts.
The Ada East District NADMO Coordinator, Ebenezer Teye Kisseh Nartey, who gave the latest update in an interview yesterday, said the search efforts were underway in the sea and along the coast for the remaining victims.
Mr Nartey said alert messages had been dispatched to coastal communities, especially those at Ada and the Volta Region, to be on the lookout for debris, and to alert the police to assist in the search efforts for the missing fishermen.
Fisherfolk at Ada in the Ada East District in the Greater Accra Region woke up last Thursday morning to the news of an accident involving two fishing canoes which had capsised after their canoes were hit by strong waves near the estuary at Azizanya, with seven crew members missing.
Mr Nartey told the Daily Graphic that a distress call came in on Thursday around 7 a.m., and, in collaboration with the Ghana Navy team, NADMO started the search and rescue operation.
He said the NADMO, the Ghana Navy and other stakeholders would continue to monitor the situation and ensure that those missing were found.
He commended the Ghana Navy for their timely response and assistance to rescue the fishermen.
Some of the fishermen who survived, said they set off for the fishing expedition last Wednesday, and on their return to base they encountered strong waves.
"The sea was so rough that we couldn’t come to the shore. We were observing the waves to enable us to manoeuvre our canoe, but unfortunately, the waves overpowered us and the canoe capsized," one of the fishermen, who gave his name only as Godwin, said.
He said he was on the sea with his other fishermen for a long period before landing on an island community called Ohuemi.
Gabriel Kwame, leader of one of the crew members, said while returning to shore, water entered their outboard motor, causing it to cease.
He said he then managed to assist some of his colleague fishermen to swim ashore after their canoe capsized.
The fishermen were trying to cross the estuary to Ada Foah to land their canoe after the fishing expedition when they were hit by strong waves, which led to the disaster.