At Least 15 People Missing In Boating Incident

Liberian authorities have launched a rescue operation for over 15 people, after a non-seaworthy vessel went missing on Saturday. Maritime authorities told a news conference in Monrovia on Sunday that 11 people had been rescued.

Late Saturday afternoon a distress call was received about the vessel, Niko Ivanka, which left Monrovia bound for the southeastern administrative district of Grand Bassa County.

Apparently without administrative oversight and authorization, the vessel was carrying passengers. The official list of crew on the vessel is reported at 18, but an unknown number of p people were also on board.

All indications are that the vessel took on water and sank in the Atlantic Ocean off the Liberian coast.

Lax oversight is pervasive in various governmental sectors in the poor West African country, especially transportation and safety.

A sputtering economy ravaged by wars, corruption and lack of technical capacity has impacted millions who are trying to make ends meet by engaging in unsafe and unauthorized activities.

As of Sunday, maritime authorities say search and rescue operations were continuing for the missing vessel. No casualty figures have been announced.

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