Uganda police search for bodies after fatal canoe capsizing on Lake Victoria

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The police in Uganda were searching for the bodies of five people feared dead after a canoe capsized on Lake Victoria on Friday.

   A police statement obtained by Xinhua on Saturday said the canoe was travelling from one island to another in the central Ugandan district of Buvuma.

   The police linked the accident to overloading. “Despite warnings about overloading, Kabenge (the canoe operator) purportedly dismissed concerns, asserting his expertise in boat operation,” the police said.

   “Later, upon departure and while navigating the lake, distress calls were heard from the occupants, signalling danger,” the police added.

   Local rescue teams, mainly made up of fishermen, only retrieved the wreckage of the ill-fated boat and the carcasses of cattle which were also on the boat.

   “The overloaded nature of the boat has been noted as a cause of this tragic incident. Efforts are underway by marine officers from Kiyindi to recover the bodies and any other items lost during the accident,” the police said.

   “We caution the public, especially boat operators, to always avoid overloading as this often results in such fatal incidents. Passengers must also avoid boarding vessels that are already overloaded with other items,” the police added.

   Boat accidents on the East African country’s lakes happen frequently due to overloading and bad weather. 

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