An unidentified teenager drowned at the Bar Beach, Lagos as revellers celebrated Eid-el-fitri in the area on Friday. A fun seeker, who witnessed the incident and identified himself simply as Michael, said there was a heavy traffic of persons at the beach while there were only two live guards on duty. It is usual in metropolitan cities like Lagos for residents to go to the beaches during important national celebrations, especially when holidays have been declared. According to the witness, the teenage boy was spotted by a few people who were standing at the tip of the ocean.
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He said three unidentified young men made frantic attempts to see if they could rescue the drowning boy, but they could not muster enough courage to move into the centre of the ocean.
He said the high waves of the surging ocean were too much for the volunteers, who eventually gave up the idea of saving the victim.
According to him, all the fun seekers around watched helplessly as the boy struggled and was finally submerged by water.
However, other fun seekers continued with their fun as if nothing had happened.
It was learnt that nobody came out to complain about a missing person before most of the fun seekers left the beach.
It was leant that a young lady initially raised the alarm, believing erroneously that the victim was her brother, but she soon kept calm when she saw her own brother.
Spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency, Ibrahim Farinloye, who confirmed the tragedy on Friday, told Saturday PUNCH that the victim had not been identified.
“The body has been taken to the mortuary. It is just sad that this had to happen despite the warnings we issued that people should stay off the beach because of an impending ocean surge,” he said.
Farinloye said the warning issued by NEMA stated that there might be an ocean surge of a minimum of four days and maximum of five days, appealing to revellers to avoid swimming at the beach for some days.
“People are allowed to go to the beach but they should not swim. For some months, the ocean had been monitored and the warnings NEMA issued were consistent with the signs that were noticed, which showed that there might be an ocean surge,” he said.