At least 20 people survived drowning on Saturday morning when two boats collided on Lake Victoria between Buvuma Islands and Lolwe Island in Namayingo District.
The Officer In-Charge of Bukooli Island, ASP Godfrey Luyiga, confirmed the incident, saying the accident happened at around 3am on August 19.
He said, “Two boats collided at Lineila in Buvuma islands but fortunately, all the occupants were rescued and are in Lolwe Island. One of the boats sunk.”
According to Mr Luyiga, one of the boats was carrying passengers and merchandise from Ripon Landing Site in Jinja City heading to Lolwe Island when it collided with another boat carrying sand from Lineila in Buvuma Island to Jinja City.
Police say that following the collision, the boat which was loaded with sand and 10 passengers sunk, while the passenger transport boat suffered minor damages.
“The passengers who were on the sand-carrying boat were rescued and placed on a passenger boat and that is how all the 20 occupants survived death,” Mr Luiga added.
He attributed the accident to poor vision and failure to observe guidelines. “The two boats were moving without any lighting system that is why they collided.”
Mr Bosco Nyebenza, the Lolwe Sub-county LC3 Chairman, said all the passengers aboard the two ill-fated boats had been rescued and safely evacuated to Gorofa Landing Site in Lolwe Island where some received treatment.
Police say despite issuing a ban on night travels on Lake Victoria, many boat operators continue to travel during the night which is a challenge.
He said: “We were simply lucky that only one boat sunk, otherwise we would be speaking about a large number of people who have drowned.”
The accident comes hardly two weeks after an overloaded passenger boat carrying 34 passengers, charcoal, fish and fresh foods capsized, killing over 20 people, while nine were rescued.
The accident, according to Police, was caused by bad weather, lack of lifesaver jackets and overloading.
Credit: Daily Monitor
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