Uganda boat capsize: Dozens of players and fans feared dead on Lake Albert

Author: BBC Sport
Some of the victims being rescued by fishermen

Seven people have been confirmed dead and dozens more are missing after a boat capsized in western Uganda on Sunday.

The boat was carrying more than 50 football players and fans from the western Uganda district of Hoima.

Witnesses say overloading and bad weather were the main causes for the accident as rescue attempts continued.

In 2016, about 30 footballers and fans were drowned when their boat capsized on Lake Albert.

Another boat carrying footballers and fans the same year capsized on Lake Albert, killing more than 20 people.

In 2015, two boats carrying refugees being repatriated to DR Congo capsized, and 109 bodies were recovered in Lake Albert.

The passengers were travelling to Runga landing site where a friendly match between two local clubs was scheduled.

The wooden canoe capsized shortly after it departed the docks.

Regarding last Sundays’s incident, a police spokesperson said fishermen at nearby landing sites rushed to the  scene and 32 people were rescued within an hour of the accident.

The police and Military Marine Unit responded shortly afterwards with divers who have since been able to recover seven bodies, the BBC's Dear Jeanne reports from Kampala.

Police and eyewitnesses say the boat was overloaded and was also hit by strong winds.

Survivors say many of the  people in the boat were not wearing life jackets.

Boat owners usually have some lifejackets onboard to avoid getting arrested by the marine police, but the lifejackets are often old. Besides,they are not sufficient for all the passengers to enhance their safety in case of any incident.