PICS: Ugandan divers pull bodies from Lake Victoria boat accident

PICS: Ugandan divers pull bodies from Lake Victoria boat accident
Uganda cruise boat capsizes, killing at least 29, after carrying more than twice its capacity
The capsizing of a boat cruise on Lake Victoria in Uganda has killed at least 29 people. Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni said on Sunday that the boat was carrying more than twice its capacity of 50 people.

Uganda‘s President Yoweri Museveni said on Sunday that a cruise boat which capsized on Lake Victoria a day earlier, killing at least 29 people, was carrying more than twice its capacity of 50.

One reason many people died so close to shore was likely "intoxication," said Asuman Mugenyi, national director of police operations. Citing the accounts of some survivors, he said there was a good number of life jackets aboard the doomed vessel that passengers neglected to wear.

More than 200 people died in September when an overloaded ferry sank on the Tanzanian side of the lake.

The boat overturned and sank at about 7 p.m. Saturday night, said senior police officer Zurah Ganyana. She said that 27 people were rescued overnight, lower than earlier reports. More than 90 passengers were on the boat, leading officials to believe that the death toll will rise.

Video: Uganda Continues to Search for Bodies After Boat Capsized in Lake Victoria

On Sunday, a police helicopter flew over the spot where the boat went down on Saturday evening in the waters off Mukono district near Kampala, as a large crowd of onlookers, some wailing, stood on the shore where bodies were piling up.

“The operators of this boat will be charged with criminal negligence and manslaughter, if they have not already been punished for their mistake by dying in the accident,” Museveni wrote on Twitter.

Video: Thirty people confirmed dead after boat capsized in Lake Victoria

Obviously, the operators of this boat will be charged with criminal negligence and manslaughter, if they have not already been punished for their mistake by dying in the accident. May the souls of all those departed in this tragedy rest in peace.

Police carried victims in tarpaulins and hauled them into a waiting truck, occasionally drawing loud wails from some of the onlookers. One young woman, seeing a victim she apparently recognized, collapsed and was rushed to hospital.

There was a party going on aboard the boat, with loud music, at the time of the accident, Museveni said.

The boat is believed to have been on a routine weekend cruise that is popular among some young Ugandans. Victims include the couple who owned the boat, according to police officer Ganyana.

Rescue and recovery missions search for the bodies of dead passengers after a cruise boat capsized in Lake Victoria off Mukono district, Uganda November 25, 2018.

“They might not have heard the emergency commands of the captain, who is still unaccounted for,” he said.

Lake Victoria disaster: Uganda rescue services slammed for slow response

Patrick Onyango, the deputy spokesman for the police, said the vessel had encountered rough conditions at the time of the accident.

Prince Wasajja told BBS TV, a television company owned by the Buganda kindom, that, Those who died are those who had not worn jackets. If police had not insisted, it would have been worse because everyone would have come without a life jacket.When they (other passengers) saw that the police had blocked … they gave up on going on the boat].

Among those rescued on Saturday was Prince Daudi Kintu Wasajja, a brother of Ronald Mutebi, the king of Buganda kingdom, Uganda‘s largest, police said.

Zurah Ganyana, the police spokesperson for the Mutima rescue and recovery operation, said their officers told the group that the boat had been grounded for three months and that refurbishments had been rushed but that they nearly turned rowdy.

Video: Families of the missing passengers in the Uganda boat tragedy call for governments help

Update 3: Death Toll Rises To 32

The East African nation has several kingdoms, whose kings wield considerable social clout but little political influence.

They said revellers attempted to cause a scene by mobilising people near the beach against police, telling them they wanted to deny Buganda royals the rights of movement and association.

Due to the sensitive and/or legal subject matter of some of the content on globalnews.ca, we reserve the ability to disable comments from time to time.

Marine units from the Uganda Police Force and the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces on Monday started pulling the wreckage out of the lake to establish if there were more bodies in it.

Ugandas Museveni says capsized cruise boat was overloaded, 29 dead

Music and booze-filled party cruises around Lake Victoria are a rite of passage of sorts for fun-seeking young Ugandans, but the one that pushed off into the waters Saturday night seemed doomed from the start.

According to Uganda police and transport ministry officers, Prince Wasajja, Kabaka Ronald Mutebis first son, Prince Jjunju Ssuuna Kiweew and others refused to abide by directives.

Museveni: Boat that capsized in Lake Victoria not registered

The rickety vessel had been in poor condition and had been docked for some time before people started piling on near Kampala, the Ugandan capital, authorities told The Associated Press. The owners of the boat did not have a license to operate and had overloaded the boat well past the point of being safe.

The officers had seen fabricators sealing holes in MV Templar that day, while it was in the water, which is contrary to engineering standards. Holes in vessels are sealed on land.

The revelers aboard — including a Ugandan recording artist and a prince — were apparently unaware of the danger until it was too late.

Dangerously overcrowded party boat sinks in Lake Victoria, killing 29 passenger

About 7 p.m., the boat overturned and sank, spilling about 90 people into the lake. Inebriated partygoers suddenly found themselves flailing in the water, facing a life-or-death scenario.

Ferry accidents are not uncommon on the lake and the number of fatalities is often high due to a shortage of life jackets and the fact that many local people cannot swim.

Many were not wearing life jackets, authorities said, and their panic was probably increased by their state of intoxication.

Dozens die as Uganda party boat sinks on Lake Victoria

“They were shouting ‘Help us! Help us!’ and the boat was sinking very quickly,” Sam Tukei, one of several men who used fishermen’s canoes to try to rescue people, told The Associated Press. “By the time the police came, we had saved many people.”

'Dictatorial' Harry and 'opinionated' Meghan don't want their child growing up in a palace

Two fishing boats that came to the aid of passengers were overwhelmed with people and capsized, according to the BBC.

On Sunday, a police helicopter flew over the spot where the boat went down on Saturday evening in the waters off Mukono district near Kampala, as a large crowd of onlookers, some wailing, stood on the shore where bodies were piling up.

At least 30 drown in Uganda pleasure boat disaster

As word spread, dozens of family members and friends gathered along the shoreline, peering through a wire fence, emitting occasional screams or cries at the sight of a loved one’s body being pulled from the water, the BBC reported. Others pored over sweaters, wallets, keys and shoes hoping to identify the dead.

Uganda party boat capsizes on Lake Victoria, killing 30

Among the rescued was music artist Iryn Namubiru, according to the BBC, and Prince Daudi Kintu Wasajja, brother of the king of Buganda, Uganda’s largest traditional kingdom.

Among those rescued on Saturday was Prince Daudi Kintu Wasajja, a brother of Ronald Mutebi, the king of Buganda kingdom, Ugandas largest, police said.

The boat was owned by a man named Templa Bissase or Bissaso and his wife, according to a statement that President Yoweri K. Museveni issued to the Ugandan Daily Monitor. The boat was travelling from a private beach and had a capacity of 50 people — but was unregistered, unlicensed and possibly uninsured. The boat party’s music was turned up so loud, Museveni’s statement said, the people aboard “might not have heard the emergency commands of the captain.”

Patrick Onyango, the deputy spokesman for the police, said the vessel had encountered rough conditions at the time of the accident.

Lake Victoria boat tragedy: Death toll rises to 23

Boat accidents are increasingly common on East Africa’s large lakes, including Lake Victoria, which is surrounded by Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, and is larger than Switzerland.

The East African nation has several kingdoms, whose kings wield considerable social clout but little political influence.

Saturday’s tragedy was the second large-scale sinking on Lake Victoria in two months. In September, nearly 150 people died after a ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized on the Tanzanian side of the lake, the BBC reported. The ferry had a capacity of 100 people, but 400 people climbed aboard, many of them carrying goods to nearby markets.

At Least 30 Drown In Africas Lake Victoria After Overcrowded Boat Sinks

Critics directed their rage at the government, which they accused of using an overloaded, undersized ferry on a busy route that crosses Lake Victoria a half-dozen times a day. Compounding problems: It was market day, and the ferry was also loaded with supplies, including heavy bags of cement and corn.

There was a party going on aboard the boat, with loud music, at the time of the accident, Museveni said.

“We are really saddened and urge the government to provide a new ferry because the old one was small and the population is big,” Editha Josephat Magesa, a resident who lost an aunt, father and younger brother in the boat tragedy, told the BBC.

More than 200 people died in September when an overloaded ferry sank on the Tanzanian side of the lake.

But closer to Uganda, as authorities continued to pull bodies out of the water, it was unclear who, if anyone, would be held responsible for the deaths.

Uganda: Boat Cruise Accident – Some Victims Identified

“Obviously, the operators of this boat will be charged with criminal negligence and manslaughter, if they have not already been punished for their mistake by dying in the accident,” Museveni said in a statement.

Dozens feared dead in L. Victoria boat disaster

Music and booze-filled party cruises around Lake Victoria are a rite of passage of sorts for fun-seeking young Ugandans, but the one that pushed off into the waters Saturday night seemed doomed from the start.

The rickety vessel had been in poor condition and had been docked for some time before people started piling on near Kampala, the Ugandan capital, authorities told The Associated Press. The owners of the boat did not have a license to operate and had overloaded the boat well past the point of being safe.

The revelers aboard — including a Ugandan recording artist and a prince — were apparently unaware of the danger until it was too late.

About 7 p.m., the boat overturned and sank, spilling about 90 people into the lake. Inebriated partygoers suddenly found themselves flailing in the water, facing a life-or-death scenario.

Many were not wearing life jackets, authorities said, and their panic was probably increased by their state of intoxication.

“They were shouting ‘Help us! Help us!’ and the boat was sinking very quickly,” Sam Tukei, one of several men who used fishermen’s canoes to try to rescue people, told The Associated Press. “By the time the police came, we had saved many people.”

Two fishing boats that came to the aid of passengers were overwhelmed with people and capsized, according to the BBC.

As word spread, dozens of family members and friends gathered along the shoreline, peering through a wire fence, emitting occasional screams or cries at the sight of a loved one’s body being pulled from the water, the BBC reported. Others pored over sweaters, wallets, keys and shoes hoping to identify the dead.

Among the rescued was music artist Iryn Namubiru, according to the BBC, and Prince Daudi Kintu Wasajja, brother of the king of Buganda, Uganda’s largest traditional kingdom.

The boat was owned by a man named Templa Bissase or Bissaso and his wife, according to a statement that President Yoweri K. Museveni issued to the Ugandan Daily Monitor. The boat was travelling from a private beach and had a capacity of 50 people — but was unregistered, unlicensed and possibly uninsured. The boat party’s music was turned up so loud, Museveni’s statement said, the people aboard “might not have heard the emergency commands of the captain.”

Boat accidents are increasingly common on East Africa’s large lakes, including Lake Victoria, which is surrounded by Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, and is larger than Switzerland.

Saturday’s tragedy was the second large-scale sinking on Lake Victoria in two months. In September, nearly 150 people died after a ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized on the Tanzanian side of the lake, the BBC reported. The ferry had a capacity of 100 people, but 400 people climbed aboard, many of them carrying goods to nearby markets.

Critics directed their rage at the government, which they accused of using an overloaded, undersized ferry on a busy route that crosses Lake Victoria a half-dozen times a day. Compounding problems: It was market day, and the ferry was also loaded with supplies, including heavy bags of cement and corn.

“We are really saddened and urge the government to provide a new ferry because the old one was small and the population is big,” Editha Josephat Magesa, a resident who lost an aunt, father and younger brother in the boat tragedy, told the BBC.

But closer to Uganda, as authorities continued to pull bodies out of the water, it was unclear who, if anyone, would be held responsible for the deaths.

Dangerously overcrowded party boat sinks in Lake Victoria, killing 29 passengers

“Obviously, the operators of this boat will be charged with criminal negligence and manslaughter, if they have not already been punished for their mistake by dying in the accident,” Museveni said in a statement.