KAMPALA – A marine police boat involved in rescue mission to recover missing persons who had drowned earlier this week has capsized in Lake Victoria.
The boat capsized on Sunday, 06 August 2023 at about 10:00am while returning to the shore after successfully retrieving a body from the water.
Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Police spokesman Luke Owoyesigyire said the boat capsized due to strong winds on the lake.
“We are relieved to report that all five marine officers who were on board the capsized boat have been rescued alive,” he said.
“The incident underscores the unpredictable nature of the lake and the challenging conditions that our dedicated Marine officers face while executing their life-saving duties. As the investigation into the accident is ongoing, further details will be provided as soon as they become available,” he added.
Owoyesigyire said police priority remains to ensure the safety of our personnel and the public while conducting rescue operations and patrolling the waters of Lake Victoria.
He also said efforts to also retrieve more missing bodies are still on, on the accident that happened earlier this week.
“We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all the rescuers who are participating in the successful retrieval of the missing person’s bodies and the prompt rescue of our officers. Their bravery and dedication are commendable,” he said.
25 people reportedly lost their lives when their boat capsized on Lake Victoria on August 2.
The large boat, fishermen said on Wednesday, was carrying 34 bags of charcoal, fresh foods and silverfish from a landing site in Kalangala district. Police have blamed the incident on “overloading and bad weather”.
At least 3,500 Ugandans across 74 districts have drowned over a two and half-year period, according to a 2021 report by Makerere University School of Public Health. This translates into 1,400 cases per year.