Six Fish Dealers Feared Dead as Cargo Boat Capsizes in Lake Victoria

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Tragedy struck Lake Victoria once again as a cargo boat carrying fish dealers capsized on Tuesday morning, March 12, 2024, leaving three people dead and three others missing. The incident occurred near Zinga Island in Wakiso District, Uganda, prompting a swift response from the authorities.

Anthony Amanya, the Spokesperson for the Uganda Police Marine Unit, reported that the boat capsized during its journey today morning around 5 A.M.

“It is with deep sorrow that we report the loss of three lives in this tragic incident. They include two female adults and one juvenile. Their bodies have been retrieved, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families during this difficult time,” he stated.

Fortunately, swift action by the Marine Unit and other rescue teams resulted in the successful rescue of ten individuals who were wearing life jackets at the time of the incident. These survivors are currently being treated at the Port Victoria Hospital, where they are receiving the necessary medical attention.

According to eyewitnesses, the boat had been transporting cargo from Sigulu Island to Marenga Omena Beach in Budalangi, Busia County. The owner of the boat, Steven Mulagye, expressed his gratitude to the marines from the Uganda police for their ongoing search efforts to find the missing persons.

Last year, another boat from Lukuba Landing capsized, claiming the lives of over 30 people. Shockingly, an estimated 5,000 fishermen lose their lives each year due to storms and accidents on the lake, highlighting the need for improved safety measures and awareness campaigns.

Drowning deaths in Uganda remain a significant concern. According to the World Health Organization’s data from 2020, drowning accounted for 1,238 deaths, which amounted to 0.60% of total deaths in the country. Efforts to address this issue must include promoting the use of life jackets and enhancing emergency response capabilities.

As the search for the missing individuals continues, authorities and communities around Lake Victoria are urged to prioritize safety and take necessary precautions to prevent such tragic incidents. With improved awareness and collective action, the hope is to reduce the number of lives lost and foster a safer environment for all those working or traveling on the lake.

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