25 November 2018

Uganda: Lake Victoria Boat Tragedy - Death Toll Rises

Photo: Jessica Sabano/Daily Monitor
Police and defence force soldiers load the bodies of boat cruise accident victims on to waiting trucks. Photo by Jessica Sabano

By Sunday morning, at least 23 bodies had been recovered and many still missing after a boat capsized in Lake Victoria.

Bodies of the deceased have been taken to Kampala City Mortuary for post-mortem as search and rescue operation resumes Sunday morning.

Our reporter

"It is a sad moment. UPDF and UPF marine units continue on a search and rescue mission on the waters of Lake Victoria for survivors and those perished in the boat cruise from KK beach," said army spokesperson Brig Richard Karemire in a statement.

There was no immediate information on the number of passengers aboard the vessel, nor the reason why it sunk.

It was reported to have been carrying more than 100 revellers. Police said last night that they had rescued more than 40 people alive.

Prince David Wasajja, a brother to Buganda King Ronald Mutebi, singer Iryn Namubiru and city businessman, John Fredrick Kiyimba commonly known as Freeman were among those rescued.

Our reporter Jessica Sabano who is at Mutima beach says UPDF and UPF marine units are retrieving more bodies.

"The area LCIII chairperson Patrick Ssajjabi says more bodies have been retrieved from the water this morning. Another man identified as Derrick Owekyo, a resident of Mpatta Island in Mukono District, died in attempt to rescue others, according to Mr Ssajjabi," says Ms Sabano.

Another of the deceased has been identified as Sheila Mbonimpa, a mother of three and wife to former Kampala City Authority (KCCA) staff, David Ntege who died of heart attack in October last year. She was a sister to UBC TV deputy managing director, Mr Maurice Mugisha. The last post she made on her Facebook wall on October 14 is a photo of her two daughters.

"I just communicated with you yesterday (Saturday) morning after a very long time, little did I know that it was a reunion and farewell, It is so sad that you've left this life at such a young age. I pray that God receives your soul in his embrace. Rest in peace beautiful one," said one Maryn Ny in a post to Mbonimpa's Facebook wall.

More bodies are said to be trapped in the boat wreckage.

In September an overloaded ferry overturned in Lake Victoria, off the Tanzania coast, killing over 200 people.

REMEMBERING BOAT ACCIDENT VICTIMS

Have you ever sailed on a boat? Or, were you on the boat and survived yesterday's tragedy? Did you lose a loved one in the accident? Were you a first responder and helped save lives? Please, do share your story and contact ( via Whatapp number 0773035674/0702291007), if you can, if you would like us to reach out to you.

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