Museveni says boat that capsized in Lake Victoria not registered

The ill-fated boat that capsized

The ill-fated boat that capsized

Recovered items of passengers at the rescue site of a capsized cruise boat on Lake Victoria at Mutima village, Uganda, on November 25.

"UPDF marine divers are entering the deep waters in the next few minutes to reach the lake bed where the boat is".

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.

The Saturday evening tragedy occurred hundreds of feet off shore as the boat, carrying an estimated 100 partygoers, was en route from one beach to another in Mukono district near the capital Kampala.

He could not give the exact number of passengers who were aboard the boat saying they are still waiting for the passenger list.

The police added that the boat was in a poor mechanical shape.

Local government official Richard Kikongo said: "A big storm hit".

He said that rescue services were slow to respond. Such revelations point to an obvious gap in monitoring of safety standards on our waters where a boat is allowed to operate with passengers that double its normal capacity.

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"Fishermen on two small boats could see that the boat was sinking and went to help".

Matovo said some of the rescuers also drowned as a result. According to police sources, more than 70 people are still missing.

Police spokesman Emilian Kayima said rescue efforts were continuing.

A man identified as Derrick Owekyo, a resident of Mpatta Island in Mukono, died while helping the search and rescue teams. In September, more than 200 people died when an overloaded ferry sank on the Tanzanian side of the lake.

The marine units also set out on a mission of pulling the boat wreckage out of the waters "so as to establish if there are more bodies still trapped under".

East Africa's major lakes have been the scene of multiple boat accidents in recent years.

In 1966, more than 800 people lost their lives on Lake Victoria when the MV Bukoba sank off the town of Mwanza, according to the Red Cross.

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