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News - South South - Delta Updated: May 08, 2024

Delta: Scuba diver dies during operations at NPA facility

By Philip Adeboye
May 08, 2024
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The lifeless body of Kelvin Ngwa, a scuba diver who had been reported missing for five days, was discovered following an unauthorized diving incident at the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, facility in Warri, Delta.

The Diving Personnel Development Foundation, DPDF, made this tragic revelation through a statement issued by its principal investigator, Julius Ugwala, on Tuesday in Lagos.

According to Ugwala, the diver vanished around 11:00 a.m. on May 2 while undertaking a salvage dive to lift a submerged barge at NPA Warri, which was situated at a depth of 15 meters.

“He had successfully airlifted during the first dive and was given a pull to come to the surface so he could check his air gauge, which was allegedly at 100 bars.

“Thereafter, he took the second dive, but the tender noticed the diver soon stopped responding to pulls and deployed a standby diver who followed the lifeline down.

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”Sadly, the standby diver found the scuba’s cylinder with a body harness and a sign of little entanglement,” Mr Ugwala said.

Ugwala, Nigeria’s chief inspector of diving, observed that the accident occurred at Matrix/Ayiri tank farm, NPA Warri.

The diving expert lamented that no approval was granted to the company for the commencement of any diving operation within Nigeria’s territorial waters in line with the Diving at Work Regulations.

He said some possible causes of the incident include substandard equipment, inexperience, a faulty demand valve gauge, a limited volume of air in the cylinder, an inadequate team size, and an unqualified dive supervisor.

Ugwala said diving research should be embarked upon for continuous improvement in the sector and urged that accidents be reported and investigated properly.

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He recommended, “Programmes should be targeted at aspiring and current leaders who want to understand diving business practices be encouraged.”

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