Five confirmed dead in Lake Victoria boat tragedy on New Year’s Day

Buvuma, (UG): The Territorial Police in Buvuma District are investigating a tragic incident on Lake Victoria, where a boat travelling from Zigunga to Zinga Island on New Year’s Day got into an accident, killing 5 people on the spot.

Ssezibwa Region Police Spokeswoman, Ms Hellen Butoto confirmed the 7pm incident and said that 14 people had been rescued so far alongside the deceased, with several other people still reported missing.

“So far, 5 people have been confirmed dead, with an additional 14 successfully rescued,” she said.

The deceased have been identified as Monday Bukenya, aged 50, Nantaba Sisa, 7, Lydia Nanjita, 16, Night Ssabano, 9, and Angel Namuwaya, 10.

The accident according to Ms Butoto’s statement has been attributed to the ill-fated condition of the boat and overloading which broke into the lake while attempting to dock at Zinga Island.

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Eyewitness accounts suggest that the boat was carrying an undisclosed number of passengers and Butoto says efforts are underway to establish the exact number of individuals on board.

“14 survivors, helped by their colleagues with swimming abilities, were able to rescue themselves. These survivors were transported to Bugaya Hospital, where they are currently receiving medical attention,” she added.

Butoto identified the survivors as; Annet Bandibasa, 35, Florence Nakintu, 45, Samali Nalubega, 3, Olivia Nalunga, 6, Joseph Bukenya, 50, Joseph Omoding, 15.

Others include Shinsia Kaguna, 9, David Mukasa, 54, Kutusa Namatovu, 40, Juma Kangungulu, 13, Shaluwa Nishima, 9, Precious Naziwa, 6, Yisa Yoweri, 2, and six-month-old Dan Sseluyembe.

“We condole with the families affected by this tragedy. The Marine Police are still working to recover any additional bodies that may still be missing,” Butoto noted.

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She said investigations into the cause of the accident have begun, and updates will be provided as soon as they are available.

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