Boat with footballers capsizes in Lake Albert

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FILE PHOTO: An overloaded boat sails on Lake Albert in Hoima District in January. (Francis Mugerwa/Daily Monitor)
An overloaded boat sails on Lake Albert in Hoima District in January. (Francis Mugerwa/Daily Monitor)

More than 30 people are feared dead after a boat transporting football players and fans capsized on Lake Albert in Western Uganda on Sunday.

According to a local newspaper, Daily Monitor, the boat was transporting the football players and fans from Fofo Landing Site in Buseruka Sub-county to Runga Landing Site in Kigorobya Sub-county in Hoima District.

According to some witnesses, the boat was carrying more than 50 people and had set off from Fofo Landing Site at about 3pm.

Sadic Nyangireki, Nyakabingo Parish youth chairperson, spoke to the Daily Monitor Newspaper and said that the cause of the accident could have been overloading as well as strong winds that blew the waters shortly after the boat set off.

“The coxswain attempted to return to the landing site when the winds started blowing but the boat capsized,” Nyangireki said.

Buseruka Sub-county district councillor, Godfrey Komakech, said that rescue efforts were ongoing and that 20 people had so far been rescued.

“We managed to rescue 10 people instantly. When we intensified the search, we rescued 10 others. They have been taken to different health centres for medication.”

Two bodies were retrieved from the lake a few minutes after the accident. The Albertine regional police spokesperson, Julius Hakiza, said police teamed up with locals in the search for the survivors and retrieving bodies of the deceased.

This is however not the first time a boat has capsized on Lake Albert, three years ago, more than 40 people drowned in Lake Albert on Christmas Day as they travelled to participate in a friendly football match.

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