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Man who rescued 13 persons in boat accident dies

A man has been hailed a hero after he died in Rivers state while rescuing victims of a boat accident.

36-year-old Joe Blankson, a contractor who supplies diesel, single-handedly rescued 13 people when a boat capsized along the Abonnema-Bakana waterways in Degema, Rivers state, on Saturday, July 28, 2018.

The boat was conveying 25 passengers from Abonnema wharf to Bakana before the accident happened around Iborama. Fishermen around the area rescued some people while Blankson succeeded in rescuing 13 people all on his own. As the father-of-two attempted to rescue a 14th person, he died in the river and his body was retrieved a day later.

In all, six people died in the boat mishap, according to eyewitness reports. But the state Police Public Relations Officer, Nnamdi Omoni, insisted that only one person died in the accident and not six.

Sources said the river was deep and going in and out of it for more than eight times could be energy-sapping. It is believed Blackson might have died of exhaustion after going multiple times to save 13 people.

Residents of Bakama in the Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State have hailed the young father a hero for his selfless act which cost him his life.

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