HOIMA – The Joint Police and UPDF Marine Units on Lake Albert have embarked on further search efforts for bodies to the victims who perished in a boat which capsized on Sunday, May 19 due to strong winds.
The boat that was transporting a local football team and fans, from Foso Landing Site to Runga Landing Site, in Kigorobya, Hoima district, capsized a few minutes after it had taken off. A total of 32 occupants managed to survive after they were rescued, while others swam to the shores.
The Marine Response Teams from the Police and UPDF, with members of the community, retrieved the capsized boat and recovered two bodies that were trapped underneath. An additional 7 dead bodies were recovered on Monday, bringing the total number of the dead to 9. These have been identified as Nyayenga Sande female adult of 22 years, Sisto Olarworth 20yrs, Kotu Jareth 19yrs, Anita Janet 18yrs, Ayera Biwaga 18yrs, Majid,Oyeny Dollar Winnie, Omirambe Jackisa 23yrs and,Pasco 18yrs and were transported to Hoima referral hospital for post-mortem analysis to establish cause of deaths and thereafter , handover to the immediate relatives for burial.
“We want to commend the search teams for their efforts in finding the bodies of all missing persons that drowned in the lake. The tragic incident demonstrates how the industry is still full of operators who ignore safety recommendations thus making passengers vulnerable as they travel on waters,” Police said in a statement.
Police have urged all boat operators on Ugandan waters to adhere to the maritime safety precautions in place and also work closely with the inspectors from the Ministry of Works and Transport, to streamline their operation on the waters.
The incident is currently under investigation after it was established that the landing site is ungazetted, no life jackets and manifests or registers for passengers, the boats are neither inspected nor licensed to operate and with no established management structures in place.