Sailor dies while test-running boat in Lagos

A sailor Popti Emmanuel has died in an accident at the waterfront of the Navy Sailing Club, Ojo, Lagos.

The club, in a statement on Sunday, said the death of Mr Popti, who was a former national athlete, occured on November 28 when he was test-running his laser boat at the club’s waterfront.

The statement said that his boat capsized, but other sailors thought it was the usual drill of going underwater to bring his boat up.

It further said divers on ground went in search of him when they noticed he did not return. They returned several hours later without him after combing underwater, the club said.

The club’s commodore Tunde Giwa-Daramola, while reacting to the incident, said the deceased was committed to the sport and had contributed to the development of water sports in Nigeria by encouraging other athletes and officers.

“He had represented Nigeria at the All Africa Games and the Navy in several regattas internationally…

“As a club, we are deeply saddened by this incident. All swimming and water activities are suspended until further notice,” he said.

Giwa-Daramola said that Nigerian Navy Command had been notified of the incident and the club had also set up a board of inquiry to determine the cause of the incident and how to avoid future occurrence.

The commodore said the club’s flag would be flown at half mast for three days in Popti’s honour.