A man who survived on two occasions being killed by Lake Victoria waters last night had a chilling tale shortly after he was rescued.
Francis Senkeezi, who was on the ill-fated boat along with several dozen colleagues, says he swam himself out of the wreck when the boat capsized, and later from another wreck when the rescue boat he was on also capsized due to overloading.
Mr Ssenkeezi said in a live Facebook video that the boat left KK Beach yesterday at around 4PM and proceeded smoothly until it developed problems and overturned.
“We were all submerged,” he said. “I swam and clung on top of the boat and we shouted for help for about 25 minutes until a rescue boat arrived.”
Ssenkeezi says majority of the people on the boat at the time it capsized, had their life jackets on.
“I too had my life jacket but I decided to give it to someone else who I realized couldn’t swim,” he said.
When the rescue boat arrived, Ssenkeezi says he and many of his colleagues leapt on but because of the numbers, it also capsized.
“More people who had survived the first accident died on this one,” he said.
“But I kept swimming until another one arrived.”
It is still unclear what exactly caused the boat to capsize. Police was yet to provide further updates since last night when the rescue operation was paused in the dead of the night.
As the operation resumed this morning, another seven bodies were retrieved from the water according to the UPDF spokesperson Lt Deo Akiiki, bringing the death toll to 20.
Updf Marines divers, Akiiki said, were able to locate and mark the wreckage in the morning.
“They are working with police to rescue bodies trapped in the wreckage. So far they have recovered 7 of the trapped bodies.”
Meanwhile other departments of the armed forces joined in the operation since last night.
Akiiki says the UPDF Airforce today deployed air surveillance to locate possible floating bodies.
The Police also sent out one of its helicopters to hunt for floating bodies.
The Director General of the Internal Security Organization (ISO) Kaka Bagyenda was also at the scene last night.
The Kampala Central Member of Parliament Muhammad Nsereko thanked the various security agencies for their heroic rescue efforts, as well as local fishermen who went out in the waters with their boats to help save lives.
It is understood that an unknown number of fishermen died in the rescue process.
Hon Nsereko however, called on government to provide more equipment to the Marines.
“Of course they did a great job, but the equipment they have is insufficient. They need night vision goggles. If they had them they’d do a better job,” he said.