| 28 February 2024, Wednesday |

SBI follows-up on Tripoli incident

Sawt Beirut International journalist Rabih Chantaf and the accompanying photographer, together with a group of media professionals, boarded a Lebanese army helicopter to assist in the hunt for the missing in the calamity of the sinking of the Tripoli boat last Saturday night.

It is worth noting that the Commander of the Naval Forces in the Army, Colonel Haitham Dannawi, revealed the circumstances of the Tripoli boat sinking in a press conference, stating that the boat that sank is small, ten meters long and three meters wide, with a permissible load of only ten people and no means of safety.

He emphasized that a patrol had tried to persuade the sinking boat to return because the situation was unsafe, and that “if we had not stopped the boat, it would have sunk outside Lebanese territorial waters,” adding that “the captain of the boat tried to escape and collided with the Lebanese army’s naval vessel, and our members did not use weapons.”

He emphasized that “they were not wearing lifejackets” and that “the army tried to prevent the boat from launching, but it was faster than us.” They met the same fate, and the captain of the boat made the choice to do maneuvers to escape from the sentinel that resulted in the ship crashing.”

The commander of the naval forces stated, “The boat sunk extremely rapidly owing to the overload, and the number of victims might have been worse if our members had not been near it.”

“The number of survivors has reached 45 individuals, and today we have 5 bodies, in addition to the girl who died yesterday, and it is conceivable that there are missing folks that we are attempting to locate,” he continued.

He went on to say, “We don’t know how many people were aboard the boat yet, and the owner of the “smuggling” faces severe punishment.” We presently have a defendant and his aides, and they are more than one party that stole money from civilians, therefore we cannot yet determine how many individuals were aboard the boat.”

  • Sawt Beirut International