At least 16 persons are feared dead and 11 others rescued, after a Liberian vessel carrying 21 passengers sank in Maryland County.
Among the passengers were nine workers of the West African Examination Council (WAEC), who were transporting exam materials to the Southeast.
Following the sinking of the vessel known as Niko Ivanka, 10 men and a woman were rescued on Saturday, July 17, while others were rescued on Sunday July 18.
The cause of the incident is yet to be established.
However, addressing a press conference Monday, the Commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority, Len Eugene Nagbe said there are set protocols of Maritime investigation and they will be followed, in order to establish the actual cause of the incident.
Commissioner Nagbe also said that due to the seriousness of the search and rescue process, local fishermen and the Liberia Immigration Service are currently helping the Liberia Coast Guard to rescue the rest of those who are yet to be located.
Commissioner Nagbe urged the public to rely on the authority and stop spreading fake information about the incident.
Meanwhile, the incident follows the criminal lifting of a detention order placed on the sailing of Niko Ivanko, a locally made and registered vessel.
The vessel, which belongs to Hylalea, Inc., was constructed in Marshall, Margibi County in the period of four months and commissioned by Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor in 2018.
It can be recalled that under the administration of former LIMA boss, Dr. James Kollie, the Niko Ivanko vessel, which was licensed to transport only cargo or goods to the leeward areas in Liberia was declared unfit for sea.
Though it remains unclear who ordered the sailing of the vessel, which was previously barred by the government from sailing, a probe has been launched into the matter by the government, through the Liberia National Police (LNP).
The vessel was grounded and prevented from sailing on the Liberian waters, due to its deplorable conditions.