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Published On: Wed, May 8th, 2024

SCUBA Diver Found Dead Within NPA Facility In Warri

SCUBA DIVER

LAGOS MAY 8TH (URHOBOTODAY)-A SCUBA diver, Kelvin Soldier Ngwa, has been found dead five days after being reported missing within Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) facility in Warri, Delta State.

SCUBA stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. The incident occurred during an unauthorised diving operation, according to a statement by the Diving Personnel Development Foundation (DPDF).

DPDF is a non-profit organisation focused on the welfare and safety of divers and to achieve an accident-free diving industry by addressing and rectifying safety gaps.

The Guardian gathered that Ngwa went missing at about 11:00 a.m. on May 2, during a salvage operation intended to air lift debris from around a submerged barge at the Matrix/Ayiri tank farm, located within the NPA Warri facility.

The Principal Investigator and Nigeria’s Chief Inspector of Diving, DPDF, Mr. Julius Ugwala, who detailed the sequence of events leading to the diver’s disappearance, said the operation took place at a depth exceeding 15 metres.

“After a successful first dive and an air check showing 100bar, Mr. Ngwa descended for a second dive. Shortly after, he ceased responding to the surface team’s communications,” the report stated.

Ugwala said a standby diver was immediately deployed and discovered Ngwa’s scuba cylinder and body harness entangled slightly, but Ngwa was tragically not found alive.

Ugwala emphasised that the operation was a scuba dive, which falls under stringent regulations outlined in the Factories (Diving at Work) Regulations, 2018.He said these rules prohibit certain types of diving operations without explicit approval, which had not been granted in this case

The DPDF listed several potential causes for the accident, including substandard equipment, inexperienced personnel, a faulty demand valve gauge, insufficient air supply, and the lack of a qualified dive supervisor.

The absence of an onsite hyperbaric chamber and an emergency response plan were also noted as significant shortcomings.In light of this incident, Ugwala called for robust diving research and improvements within the sector.

He stressed the importance of reporting and investigating diving incidents to prevent future accidents.

Additionally, Ugwala advocated educational programmes aimed at both aspiring and current diving operation leaders to ensure better understanding and implementation of safe diving practices.

The Guardian-Nigeria

 

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