Uganda police announced that at least 29 people had died after a pleasure boat capsized in Lake Victoria close to the capital, Kampala.
Rescue teams were retrieving bodies from the boat which overturned and sank about 7:00 p.m. Saturday night, November 24, according to senior police officer Zurah Ganyana. She added that 27 people had been rescued overnight. More than 90 passengers were onboard, leading officials to believe the death toll will rise.
The boat was in poor condition, without valid license to operate, and had been grounded for some time. It was taking passengers on a pleasure Lake Victoria cruise, a popular weekend activity in Kampala. It capsized near the shore.
One reason many people had died so close to shore was probably “intoxication,” according to Asuman Mugenyi, national director police operations. He said there had been a good number of life jackets onboard the doomed ship that travelers neglected to wear.
The passengers, in a party mood halfway through the journey, were possibly intoxicated and most likely panicked when the boat started to sink, he added.
According to police officer Ganyana, victims include the couple who owned the pleasure boat.