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November 15, 2018

Nine dead, eight survive in Lake Victoria boat accident

Fishermen in Lake Victoria. Nine people died on Saturday after the boat they were travelling in capsized in the lake. Photo/File
Fishermen in Lake Victoria. Nine people died on Saturday after the boat they were travelling in capsized in the lake. Photo/File

Nine people died on Saturday while eight others survived after a boat they were traveling in capsized in Lake Victoria at Liunda beach in BondoSub County.

Two ladies and seven men who drowned were part of a local band that consisted of 15 members.

The band was headed for a performance on Saturday evening at Ndeda Island.

According to Philip Ouma, the band’s manager, the boat started swaying due

to heavy waves experienced in the lake before finally capsizing.

He said they had barely travelled for 50 minutes when the swaying started, throwing everyone on board into panic.

Ouma said the survivors were rescued after a group of fishermen who witnessed their boat sink peddled offshore and called for reinforcement.

While narrating the early morning ordeal, Ouma said he survived by hanging onto one of the speakers they were going to use for their performance.

He said he hang onto the speaker until after rescuers found him.

One of the dancers who survived the accident, Marceline Adhiambo, recounted that after the boat had capsized, she managed to hang onto a jerrican for about an hour before help arrived.

Confirming the incident, Bondo OCPD Paul Kiarie said that they are seeking

assistance from the national disaster management authority to assist in retrieving the bodies of those who perished.

He appealed to people using the lake as a means of transport to use

safety gears.

The West Sakwa Ward MCA Johannes Andiego, who was the first leader to visit the shore, condoled with the bereaved families.

He said the incident was the first of its magnitude to be witnessed at the Lihunda beach.

He called on fishermen who use their fishing canoes to carry passengers across the lake to leave the task to those who own boats meant for transport.

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