Amid Saturday’s shipwreck, the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC’s) Monrovia office has indefinitely postponed its exams scheduled for today Monday through Friday, 19-23 July 2021.
In a statement released late Sunday, WAEC-Liberia expressed regrets in informing all school candidates that the national examinations scheduled to have been administered on Monday through Friday, 19-23 July 2021, have been postponed, attributing its postponement action to what it described as the unfortunate sinking of a vessel that was transporting nine staff and examinations materials of WAEC.
Authorities announced here early Sunday that a locally registered vessel, the Niko Ivanka, encountered a distress situation hours after it sailed off the port of Monrovia on Saturday, 17 July, headed to Harper, Maryland County.
Liberia’s Commissioner of Maritime, Eugene Lenn Nagbe told reporters that while Niko Ivanka was underway to Harper, about 6 nautical miles off the coast of Marshall City, outside Monrovia, it reportedly started to take in water.
Authorities of the Liberian military leading the search and rescue operation, disclosed that so far, of a total of 26 individuals onboard the Niko Ivanka at the point of sinking, 11 persons including a female have been rescued, while the rest are presumed missing.
There are reports that at the point of sinking, the Niko Ivanka had onboard several passengers, including nine examiners of the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC’s) Monrovia Office, who were scheduled to have administered this year’s version of the Council’s public exams to students in southeastern Liberia.
The Liberia Coast Guard says the 26 individuals onboard the distressed vessel at the time of sinking, included several Liberians, Chinese and a Swedish national, believed to be the Captain of the Niko Ivanka.
The Coast Guard disclosed that those rescued so far are nine Liberians, one Chinese and a Swedish national, but it is not clear whether any of the nine staff of WAEC are among those rescued.
Meanwhile, the management of WAEC-Liberia says it sincerely regrets the inconveniences that will be caused as a result of the postponement of the public exams previously scheduled for Monday through Friday, July 18-23, 2021.