Some 34 military personnel are reportedly missing after their vessel capsized off the coast of Debuncha on Sunday at about 6am local time. The vessel,dubbed "Le 'Mendumba'"of the Rapid Intervention Battalion, was on a supply mission to Bakassi, according to official sources. Three of the men have been rescued, reports say.
According to a communiqué from the Minister delegate at the Presidency in Charge of Defence, there were 37 people including the crew on board the vessel. The cause of the incident is still unclear. However, the same communiqué states that the vessel had become "abruptly agitated". After losing contact with the vessel, the control entre raised an alarm.
Search teams were immediately dispatched to the area. A military helicopter helped spot traces of fuel from the sinking vessel. The area likely to lodge the vessel has been mapped out. The search continues while an investigation is underway. A "crisis cell" has also been created to handle the tragedy.
Top officials in the military have already met in Yaoundé. This comes at a time when Nigeria is investigating claims that Cameroon killed about 97 Nigerian fishermen in the Bakassi peninsula some days ago. The tragedy is believed to have been sparked by a fishing levy by Cameroon on the fishermen.