Authorities in Mukono District have identified some of the bodies retrieved from water by the search and rescue team following the Saturday boat cruise accident.
By Sunday morning, UPDF said 30 bodies had been retrieved from the water and 26 other people rescued alive.
“By 11am, 17 more bodies had been recovered. The team of divers has increased to include Police. So far the number of the dead retrieved is 30 in total. Those alive remain 26.
The operation continues. It is a grieving moment for the nation,” UPDF spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire tweeted on Sunday.
The operation spokesperson Zura Ganyana identified some of the deceased as Templar Bisaso, the owner of the boat and K-Palm beach in in Mukono, Moses Muyanga the owner of Elite events and Bosco Oryoch, a rescuer.
Others are Micheal Kaddu, Sheila Mbonimpa, John Nyanzi, Richard Musisi, Arnold Mberu, Brian Ndori, Ritah Namara, Isaac Kayondo, one only identified as Kawalato and another only identified as Muwanga. Others are yet to be identified as the search and rescue operation continues.
There was no immediate information on the number of passengers aboard the vessel, nor the reason why it sunk.
Survivors’ accounts indicate that there were more than 100 revellers on the boat.
The vessel sank during bad weather on Saturday in the latest deadly incident to affect passenger boats on Africa’s largest lake.
The boat, on which party-goers were drinking, dancing and listening to music, sank a short distance from the shore off Mutima in Mukono District, close to the capital Kampala.
Overloading and bad weather were likely to blame, according to authorities.First responders were reportedly among the victims.
“Fishermen on two small boats could see that the boat was sinking and went to help. People tried to jump onto the boats but they were too many and those sunk.
The rescuers died too,” said one Richard kayongo.
Nearby residents said the vessel was hired out for parties every weekend and often overloaded with revellers.
The Mutima Country Haven resort had been converted to a triage centre and morgue on Sunday morning where police were collecting the swollen bodies of victims.
Police spokesman Emilian Kayima said rescue efforts were continuing.
Lake Victoria is the site of many boat disasters. In September, hundreds died when the MV Nyerere passenger ferry sank on the Tanzanian side of 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 many local people cannot swim.
In 1966, more than 800 people lost their lives on Lake Victoria when the MV Bukoba sank off the mainland town of Mwanza, according to the Red Cross.
By Daily Monitor