KAMPALA – The joint search of Police, UPDF marines and the local fishermen on Lake Albert has so far retrieved a total number of 16 bodies from the lake.
Six more bodies recovered have been identified as Ayiyorwotha Komakech, a male juvenile, 15years, Kyoshaba Bob, 28yrs, Balikenda Kisembo, 20yrs, Adinan Oscar, 18yrs, Pirwoth Opek Rwoth, 20yrs and Jango Filisido, 26yrs.
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 on Sunday. 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.