Seventeen people were rescued from Lake Victoria on Tuesday evening after their boats were hit by strong winds enroute to Kasenyi in Entebbe.
Maurice Luswata, one of those rescued from the Lake told this publication that strong waves hit their boat as they were approaching the Entebbe Police Marine Base. “The boat started capsizing and we jumped out to swim.
We were only rescued by well-wishers at Kasenyi landing site that came in quickly to help,” Luswata said. None of the 14 people on board had a life jacket. The wind also hit another boat carrying three people including two farmers and a coxswain towards Misenyi landing site.
The engine of the wooden boat fell into the Lake as a result of the strong wave. The three were rescued by fishermen at Misenyi landing site, according to Ivan Tenywa, the Officer in Charge of the Rescue Mission.
Lake Victoria experiences strong winds and waves in May and August. It is during this time that several boats capsize. Statistics at Kalangala Police Station show that 11 people drowned last year after their boats capsized resulting from the strong winds.
Ibrahim Ssenyonga, a lifesaving expert under Uganda Red Cross Society cautions those involved in marine transport to always move with life jackets and avoid loading.