22 dead, scores feared drowned after Ugandan pleasure boat sinks

President Yoweri Museveni

Ssenkezi Francis was on board when a boat cruise carrying 120 people suddenly capsized on Lake Victoria leaving multiple people dead on Saturday.

Authorities in Mukono District have identified some of the bodies retrieved from water by the search and rescue team following the Saturday boat cruise accident.

The vessel had a capacity for 50 people but is believed to have been carrying almost 100 passengers when it overturned during bad weather.

Police spokesman Asuman Mugenyi said: "We expect (the number of passengers) is beyond the capacity of the boat".

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Moses Ali was at the City Mortuary Mulago to handover the first bodies of the people who drowned in the lake. "It can be fine on land but bad weather on the lake".

A person cliaming to be Iryn's manager said she was among those who were safe, local media claism. "Help us!' and the boat was sinking very quickly", said Sam Tukei, one of several local men who used fishermen's canoes to rescue people.

The Police and UPDF Marine Units were involved in an intensive rescue operation through most of last night, which was paused just after midnight due to extreme conditions. There are also reports some rescuers died.

As earlier reported by TUKO.co.ke, the accident involving a Ugandan boat which had dozens revelers on board, happened at Mpatta sub-county in Mukono district, Uganda.

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Among those rescued was Prince Daudi Kintu Wasajja, a brother of the king of Uganda's largest traditional kingdom, Buganda.

The boat was reportedly hired out for weekend parties.

The boat is said to have been owned by an individual named Templa Bissase and his wife, both of whom, apparently, perished in the accident.

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.

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With a surface area of 70,000 square kilometres (27,000 square miles), oval-shaped Lake Victoria is roughly the size of Ireland and is shared by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

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