The UPDF and Police marine officers during the rescue mission on Sunday. (Photo by Conan Businge)
MUKONO - We departed from KK Beach. The big boat could not come to the shores, so we were taken to where it was docking using canoes. It was from that point that we boarded.
As the boat started to move, it lost balance. We struggled to balance with the boat. We reached somewhere in the middle of the lake and the waves got bigger and stronger.
Then, suddenly, we saw one of the loud speakers fall into the water. That was when we realised we were in danger. All of us struggled to climb to the upper side because one side was already submerged.
We had no way out. The boat started capsizing. We saw our friends falling into water, but we could not save them. The boat covered them.
There were some courageous boys who were close to me and at the border line of the boat. They went to the upper part and used their phone flash lights to call for help. We were close to Mutima Beach.
Some of the people at Mutima Beach realised there was something wrong in the water, so they started sending canoes to check out.
Those of us who were remaining devised a pattern, where we held onto each other, until when the rescue team reached us.
The local rescue arrived in about 10 minutes. We had life jackets on the boat, but some people did not put them on. Socialites did not want the jackets to spoil their sense of style. They were taking pictures. The drunk ones could not be told to put on life jackets.
Police helicopter taking part in the search operation. (Picture by Kennedy Oryema)
Brian Vianney Jjuuko Mukasa
Brian Vianney Jjuuko Mukasa, another of the survivors, who led the prayers during the chaos, also shared the tragedy on his Facebook account. Friends, family and comrades, I am alive and well.
I am sorry for the tears and tension and, thank you for the prayers. I also pray for those that you called to heaven because I led the prayer when all hope was gone, and when all people were in total chaos and panic.
I did not swim the entire lake alone. I was with Jesus Christ, your son. I managed to save two lives, but I am sorry to the woman I could not save. My own hands were out of energy.
We had life jackets on the boat, but Socialites did not want them to spoil their sense of style
Iryn Namubiru, a renowned artist, who was among the revellers, also confirmed that she survived. Namubiru posted on Twitter: “Would like to thank all of you who have p out to me. By God’s grace, I am still alive, safe and getting medical attention.”
In addition, Namubiru said, she is so traumatised. She also extended her deepest thoughts to revellers who did not survive.
“My deepest thoughts to our comrades who didn’t make it and condolences to the bereaved families. What can I say? God,” she said in one of the tweets.