Boat accident: 5 marine officers survive death as more bodies recovered

A handout photo released by police on August 6, 2023 shows marine officers on a water body in Uganda. PHOTO/COURTESY 

What you need to know:

  • About 30 passengers were on board but 10 survived while at least 10 bodies have so far been recovered in the aftermath of the August 2 early morning tragedy. 
  • Six of the ten bodies recovered so far are of females. 

At least five marine officers survived death when their boat capsized on Sunday while they were attempting to find 15 missing victims of an August 2 boat accident on Lake Victoria.

Still on Sunday, police also retrieved at least 5 more bodies, adding up to 5 female corpses that were recovered on August 5, 2023.

“While returning to the shore after successfully retrieving a body from the water, the boat capsized due to strong winds on Lake Victoria,” Kampala Metropolitan deputy police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigire said on Sunday.

According to him, there were no fatalities following the incident.

“We are relieved to report that all five marine officers who were onboard the capsized boat have been rescued alive,” Owoyesigire confirmed in a statement.  

Police said efforts to retrieve the remaining bodies following the Wednesday morning accident are still ongoing.

Africa's largest lake has witnessed many boat disasters, with the accidents often blamed on overcrowding and poor weather.

“The Sunday incident underscores the unpredictable nature of the lake and the challenging conditions that our dedicated Marine officers face while executing their life-saving duties,” Owoyesigire observed.

About Lake Victoria

With a surface area of 70,000 square kilometres (27,000 square miles), oval-shaped Lake Victoria is roughly the size of Ireland and is shared by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

It is not uncommon for ferries to capsize on the lake and the number of fatalities is often high due to a shortage of life jackets and the fact that few people know how to swim.

Boats tend to be the only form of transportation in parts of Africa's Great Lakes region and are often overcrowded and poorly maintained.

Accidents are also common along Lake Albert, which marks the border between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo- Additional reporting by AFP.