GGABA – “We set off at around 4 O’clock, in the afternoon, for nearby Mutima Island with a bunch of people aboard and an hour later…..”
Ssenkezzi Francis, a survivor of the Lake Victoria boat cruise accident, recounts the dock-off minutes before the ill-fated boat capsized.
He made the revelations at KK beach after being rescued; in the company of Muhammad Nsereko, MP Kampala Central Division via his official Facebook Page
A two-time survivor of the tragedy, Francis, in his early 30s, further recounted the last moments revealing that the boat turned upside down, covering the revellers under it.
He refuted claims that the revellers did not have life-jackets on, adding that only about vividly 16 people
“The boat overturned covering all over underneath; I tussled out through the waters to the boat, standing on top of it before calling out for help,” terrified Francis said.
Francis further revealed that another boat came to their rescue but capsized moments later…
“When the boat arrived, we tumbled to get onto it and the numbers overwhelmed it; sending it into the waters, drowning more….” he added
Finally, another rescue boat surfaced after over 25 minutes as revellers struggled for their lives.
Hon. Muhammad Nsereko commended the rescue team, local authorities, Special Forces and Marine Police for their endeavours to save lives after the tragic accident.
“We thank these unsung heroes (referring to the rescue teams, KK Manager, Security Agencies) for dispatching more boats and rescuers as well as facilitating the operation to save lives,” he said.
He, however, asked the government to equip and furnish Police and Marine forces with specialised equipment like night-vision and marine gadgets to support late night operations in such tragic accidents.
The boat, which was occupied by revellers on a boat cruise, capsized in Mpatta Sub-County in Mukono District with the death toll expected to rise and scores continue missing.
Prince David Wasajja, a brother to Buganda King Kabaka Ronald Mutebi, and Irene Namubiru, artiste, have been confirmed rescued and alive, trashing earlier death reports
The fate of the other revellers remains unclear as the rescue operation continued throughout the night.
Reports have put the number of those on the ill-fated boat to have been between 80 and 120
The marine units of the Uganda Police Force and the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) were carrying out a joint rescue operation with fishermen arriving at the scene first.
Police reports indicate that over 50 have been rescued on the capsised boat that docked off Saturday afternoon at 4:00 pm.