"The engine stopped and the boat started getting filled with water and subsequently sunk"
Fishermen try to rescue a drowning man who was aboard the boat. Photo by Julius Luwemba
Over 40 people survived death on Tuesday afternoon after a boat traveling from Kimi Island, Mukono district, capsized in Lake Victoria as it was heading to Kasenyi landing site in Wakiso district.
All of the passengers on board were said to have no life jackets but fortunately, no one drowned. Aboard were also seventy sacks of silverfish, seven sacks of charcoal and three bunches of matooke among other valuables.
Bosco Kalunga, the chairperson of fish traders at Kasenyi landing site, said the capsized boat was visible from a distance struggling against the high tides.
"I then commanded two big boats on a rescue mission, and thank God, we managed to reach in time before any of those on board could drown," said Kalunga.
According to Vincent Semayengo, the superviser of the capsized boat, by the time they departed Kimi Island, the waters were calm and stable, only for the tides to rise as they neared Kasenyi landing site.
"Suddenly, the engine stopped and the boat started getting filled with water and subsequently sunk," said Semayengo.
Khalid Kakaire, the owner of the boat, decried the loss of the traders’ goods which were on board.
"We could not land anywhere because the whole place was surrounded by slippery rocks, neither could we use the oars to row the boat because the tides and waves were so harsh to overcome," said Kakaire.
Many survivors were seen wailing over the lost goods while some youths were seen opportunistically making off with sacks of silverfish.