'Our boat captain hit the last point of a fisherman's canoe crossing in front of us and our boat capsized' - Actor who survived boat accident that claimed Jnr Pope’s life speaks

Nollywood actor, TC Okafor, who narrowly escaped a tragic boat accident that claimed the lives of fellow actor Jnr Pope and four others, has recounted the harrowing events leading up to the incident.

In an Instagram live session recorded on April 11, Mr Okafor revealed that the accident occurred while they were en route to a movie location.

According to him, Junior Pope was filming himself on the boat when the captain, distracted by the video, collided with a fisherman’s boat, causing their boat to capsize.

Reflecting on the ordeal, he stated, “As we were sailing, Junior Pope started making videos. The boat captain was wearing an earpiece. He was focusing his head for it to be in the video Junior Pope was making. I was in the front. I saw the boat of some fishermen and I alerted him ‘see canoe!’”

Meanwhile, Mr Okafor described how he held tightly onto the anchor rope of the boat, which ultimately saved his life.

He further expressed concern over the lack of life jackets, revealing that only the director and director of photography (DOP) were wearing them.

Detailing the moments leading up to the accident, Mr Okafor mentioned that he had shared a Fanta drink with the occupants of the boat as a gesture of goodwill. He also cautioned against using phones while on the boat, a warning that went unheeded.

Recalling the aftermath of the accident, Okafor recounted, “I was the one that first reported the matter at the Marine police station. They told us that why do we filmmakers keep doing this… they said because of our stinginess, we never come to even take them (life jackets) and some divers.”

Despite the traumatic experience, the survivor expressed frustration with the lack of safety measures in the film industry, particularly regarding water scenes.

Nonetheless, he emphasized the importance of following safety protocols and criticized the industry’s negligence in providing adequate life jackets and training for such situations.

The accident, which occurred on a river, resulted in the loss of five lives, with three bodies yet to be recovered.

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