The residents of Mkpanak community in the Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom have been left to grieve the loss of three teenagers.
According to reports, the teenagers, a girl and two boys, drowned in a beach located within the community on Saturday.
Mr. Peter Akpan, the Chairman of Ibeno Beach Management, expressed great sadness at the tragic incident.
“It is a sad situation. I came in on Sunday and the management team informed me about the ugly incident. We don’t want this to happen to us again. We want government to be to come to our aid and invest in the beach to make it a proper tourist centre. We have advocated that Ibeno beach is an ocean that is not fit for swimming,” he said
He stated that he was not around when the incident occurred and also called on the state government to make Ibeno beach a proper tourist site and also help provide life jackets at the beach in order to prevent people from drowning. This, he said, would make the beach safe for tourists and residents.
An eyewitness identified as Mr. Asuquo Isangdighe, who is reported to be a photographer, said the victims had engaged in a road walk after which they dived into the river to have their bath. Mr Asuquo also claimed to know one of the the deceased personally. He informed the press that one of the victims had just graduated from the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron.
“They were five and two of them escaped from drowning and their ages were between 13 and 19 years old. One of them just finished from Maritime Academy Oron. The body of the female victim floated to the shores of the river and was thereafter buried same day at the bank of the river as custom and tradition demands. The two other victim’s body floated to the shores of the river on Monday and they were buried too at the bank of the river,”
Mr Asuquo said.
Residents claims that the three deaths has now taken the “Death toll” in the popular Ibeno beach to 10 persons from the turn of 2018 till date.