At Least 31 Dead in a Ugandan Boat Accident

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23 people were reported dead and several missing after the boat they were travelling in capsized in Lake Victoria on Saturday afternoon.

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He also revealed that the boat was unlicensed and unregistered.

Mr Mugenyi said overloading and bad weather were likely to blame. People tried to jump onto the boats but they were too many and those sunk. Inebriated partygoers suddenly found themselves flailing in the water, facing a life-or-death scenario. "It was overloaded and unfortunately people were drunk", he said.

"They were shouting 'Help us!"

A woman sheds tears at the rescue site of the capsized cruise boat on lake Victoria. — AFP
A woman sheds tears at the rescue site of the capsized cruise boat on lake Victoria. — AFP

She said 27 people were rescued overnight, but more than 90 passengers were on the boat, leading officials to believe the death toll would rise.

More than 200 people were killed in a Tanzanian ferry disaster in September.

The boat was taking passengers on a pleasure cruise on Lake Victoria, a popular weekend activity for young people in Kampala, when it capsized close to shore.

TV footage showed Police trucks driving away with bodies recovered from the water. Others pored over sweaters, wallets, keys and shoes hoping to identify the dead.

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Among those rescued include Prince David Wasajja, brother of Buganda King Ronald Mutebi, singer Iryn Namubiru and city businessman John Fredrick Kiyimba, commonly known as Freeman.

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.

"It seems the boat was overloaded because whereas it had capacity for 50 people only, it had about 120 passengers on board, who also seemed to be partying with a lot of music".

"I've seen a lot of accidents but nothing as bad as this", said Matovo, who -- along with oth er witnesses -- had recently seen the boat being fixed up.

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Rescuers search for victims at the site of a capsized cruise boat on Lake Victoria near Mutima village, south of Kampala, Uganda, on November 25, 2018.

The President insisted that Ugandans should take lessons from such tragedies by following the safety precautions such as wearing safety jackets.

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