Police have confirmed that the death toll in last Sunday’s Lake Albert boat accident now stands at 15.
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. A total of 32 occupants managed to survive after they were rescued, while others swam to the shores.
On Monday, Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga said the Marine Response Teams from Police and Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) with members of the community on Sunday retrieved the capsized boat and recovered two bodies that were trapped underneath.
An additional seven bodies were on Monday afternoon recovered.On Tuesday morning more six bodies were retrieved bringing the total number of the dead to 15.
“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,” Enanga said.
“As a result, we do urge 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 Police mouthpiece also revealed that the incident is currently under investigation after it was established that the landing site is ungazatted, 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.