23 dead, dozens missing in Lake Victoria boat tragedy

At least 30 killed as boat capsized in Uganda

Fishermen who had gone to help in the dark on Saturday night were among 30 dead pulled from Lake Victoria after their boats were overwhelmed by panicking revellers.

He also revealed that the boat was unlicensed and unregistered. People tried to jump onto the boats but they were too many and those sunk. Along the way, it suddenly descend below the surface, and we all fell into the water. More than 90 passengers were on the boat, leading officials to believe that the death toll will rise. "It was overloaded and unfortunately people were drunk", Mugenyi said.

"They were shouting 'Help us!"

Divers from the police and military pressed on with efforts to retrieve bodies while equipment was deployed to try to tug the boat wreck to shore, Onyango said.

Scores of people died when a ferry sank on the lake off Tanzania in September.

The five times I crossed in small boats or canoes some of the lakes of East Africa (thrice Lake Victoria and two times Lake Tanganyika), I found them very risky to cross when you are not fully prepared; no overloading, standby engines, life jackets, reliable navigation etc.

TV footage showed Police trucks driving away with bodies recovered from the water.




On the grass some personal items were laid out - shoes, sweaters, wallets, keys - anything that could be used to identify the victims.

Among those who were in the boat at the time of the accident is Prince David Wasajja, the brother of Buganda King Kabaka Ronald Mutebi who was rescued alive.

The boat was owned by a man named Templa Bissase or Bissaso and his wife, according to a statement that President Yoweri K. Museveni issued to the Ugandan Daily Monitor.

"We expect (the number of passengers) is beyond the capacity of the boat".

Ganyana said the boat was in poor condition and had been grounded for some time.

There was no immediate information from authorities on why the vessel, carrying cruise goers to Lake Victoria's Mutima island, about 60km east of Kampala, sank.

He advised the public to take lessons from Saturday's tragedy, regarding safety. In September, almost 150 people died after a ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized on the Tanzanian side of the lake, the BBC reported.

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