After single-handedly rescuing 13 people after a boat capsized along the Abonnema-Bakama waterways in Degema, Rivers State, on 28 July, 2018, 36-year-old Joe Blankson, a diesel supplier lost his life as he made to save a 14th drowning passenger.
The boat, which was conveying 25 passengers from Abonnema wharf to Bakana, had the help of nearby fishermen who joined in the rescue mission. As Blankson, the father-of-two, attempted to rescue a 14th person, he died in the river where his body could only be retrieved 24 hours later.
According to eyewitness reports, a total of six people died in the boat mishap. Sources say the river is deep and it is believed that Blackson might have died of exhaustion after repeated trips in and out of the river.
Residents of Bakama have hailed the young father a hero for the selfless act that cost him his life.