In a dramatic twist of events the Commanding Officer of the Forward Operational Base in Sulima, Lt Navy J D Bangura who was the only officer missing after a Naval Cutter (boat) capsized off Sulima during a routine security trip has resurfaced alive.
Approximately 13 hours after four naval officers were rescued Lieutenant was found and rescued, a source disclosed.
Brig. Nelson Williams confirmed that the Commanding Officer is being treated at Sulima.
During a search and rescue operation which was led by Republic of Sierra Leone Army Forces (RSLAF) Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), Brig. Alfred Nelson Williams on Thursday afternoon only 3 military officers and one Ghanaian national were reported rescued.
It was reported that the military officers belonged to the Forward Operational Base at Sulima from where they usually conduct routine security checks around the area. However according to the survivors their boat got grounded on an unseen sand bank along the point where the Moa River intersects with the Atlantic Ocean due to the high current around that area.
One of the survivors narrated that he was few meter ahead of the Commanding Officer when he shouted that he is tired of swimming and he is going to remove his life jacket. The life jacket was later found on shore.
Military Police, Sgt Bangura reported, “the boat departed on 1st July at 1800hrs, around 09:50hrs on Thursday we received information that the boat had capsized.”
The boat was eventually spotted in deep sea by a helicopter, which hovered around until they were waved down by residents. Fortunately however Ghanaian fishermen in the settlement had rescued the distressed soldiers.
The four rescued military sailors were airlifted to Freetown and taken straight to the 34 military hospital for medical observation.