Three dead, over 20 missing as boat capsizes in Lake Victoria

Buvuma, (UG): At least three female passengers of the 24 who on Sunday went missing following a boat accident on Lake Victoria have been confirmed dead, with the search for the missing 21 individuals intensified on the lake.

Police said on Monday that the ill-fated boat which suffered the accident at around 10:30 pm was transporting people who were returning from Lubya Island in Buvuma District where they had gone to attend a hands-on training workshop.

The deceased have been identified as Annah Nabwire, 23, Ashifah Namulondo, 19, and Harriet Tulina, 17, – all residents of Namiti in Lubya Town Council, Buvuma District.

Mr Fred Onduri, the chairperson of Lubya Sub County, said the workshop which the attendees were coming from had been organised by Uganda Development Health Associates (UDHA) and it drew participants from various islands including Kirewe, Lubya and Namiti within the District.

“After dropping participants from Kirewe, the boat continued with the three female participants from Namiti and the boat suffered a strong wave and drowned, only the boat skipper managed to swim and survived,” Onduri said.

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He however blamed the tragedy on the boat skipper who did not provide lifejackets to the occupants.

Ms Hellen Butoto, the Ssezibwa regional police spokesperson, had earlier said on Sunday night that the marine personnel and local fishermen were still looking for the three bodies until Monday when the three bodies were discovered.

“Our preliminary investigations reveal that passengers on board never had any lifesaving gadgets like lifejackets. We have emphasized this several times, but many boat owners have refused to take heed,” Ms Butoto said.

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Subsequently, police said (without giving particulars) that five people have been arrested to aid in the ongoing investigations to determine what caused the havoc.

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