Friday May 23 2014

100 passengers stuck on ferry on Lake Victoria

By Issa Aliga

The MV Pearl ferry Friday got stuck in deep in the waters of Lake Victoria with about 100 passengers on board. The ferry left Luku near Bugoma in Kalangala District at 9.15am but it stalled at about 9.40 am. By 1.10 pm  local time, the water vessel was still stuck at the same spot.

A passenger on board, Mr Godfrey Ssamula told this reporter that on the ferry is a pregnant woman who was on her way to the labour ward at Masaka Referral Hospital.

He said the ferry is laden with four lorries, three mini-buses and three cars and numerous merchandise and passengers.

Mr Ssamula says the situation is bad due to rain and strong winds on the lake since morning.

The ferry captain, Mr Lawrence Lugunda said by telephone that they are trying to fix the problem. He said the ferry’s propellers got entangled in fishnets that were swept into the ferry’s navigation route by strong waves. He said the lake has been turbulent in the past few days.

He said  a team of divers has been sent  from from Kalangala to remove fishnets from the propellers. He said this is the second time the ferry had gotten stuck in the lake under similar circumstances.