Boat capsizes on Lake Albert: 14 confirmed dead, scores missing

At least 14 people have been confirmed dead with more than 30 missing following a boat accident on Lake Albert in Buliisa District.

8 bodies, including those of two children were retrieved from the lake by fishermen on Tuesday night while six other bodies were recovered on Wednesday afternoon near Wanseko landing site.

Survivors said the boat carrying about 57 people capsized near Songa-Lendu landing site in Buliisa district on Tuesday as they were sailing to Panyimur weekly market in Pakwach District.

The boat captain only identified as Jakisa said the ill-fated boat belongs to Alur cultural leader in Panyimur. Jakisa who was rescued by fishermen said they were 57 passengers and good on board.

One of the rescuers, Mr Derick Mugwampula said he found bodies of two kids holding hands in the water about 2km from Wanseko landing site.

Another survivor, Victor Uwachigiu told this reporter that he swam to the lakeshore with one- and-a-half-year-old child on his back.

He attributed the accident to bad weather and an inexperienced coxswain who failed to effectively maneuver through the strong wind that hit the boat.

 “A strong wind found us when we had just set-off and the inexperienced coxswain failed to listen to co-coxswain on how to control the boat. The two boat engines were overpowered by the wind and stopped running,” he said.

He said he swam to the shore using an empty jerrycan that was on board.

Only 21 passengers, mostly men survived the accident after fishermen came to their rescue.

Special police constable Mr Rogers Businge who doubles as Kitahura LCI defence attributed the accident to overloading and faulty engine.

Sgt Moses Nowamanya, a sector intelligence officer said some of survivors were receiving treatment at Buliisa general hospital.

The particulars of the survivors and the deceased were not yet known by press time but some bodies were handed over to relatives for burial.

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