Ugandan boat with footballers capsizes in Lake Albert


A boat carrying football players and fans has capsized in Lake Albert in western Uganda, local media reports say.

Casualty figures are unclear – the state-owned New Vision newspaper reports that three people have been confirmed dead, including a female goalkeeper, and more than 20 are missing, while the privately-owned Daily Monitor reports that 30 people are feared dead after the Sunday afternoon incident.

The passengers were travelling from Fofo in Hoima district to neighbouring Runga to play friendly matches for men and women when the engine-powered boat capsized.

The Daily Monitor quoted Sadic Nyangireki, the Nyakabingo parish youth chairman and a businessman at Fofo, as saying the accident could have been caused by overloading and a strong wind that blew shortly after the boat left the landing site.

“The boat capsized about 300 metres after taking off from the landing site,” said Mr Nyangireki.

“The coxswain attempted to return to the landing site when the winds started blowing but the boat capsized,” he said.

New Vision says about 25 people from Fofo were rescued, many of them fishermen, and rescue operations are continuing.

“We managed to rescue 10 people instantly. When we intensified the search, we rescued 10 others. They have been taken to different health centres for medication. The search efforts are still underway,” Mr Godfrey Komakech, the Buseruka Sub-county district councillor, was quoted by the Daily Monitor.

A survivor of the accident,Ms Amia Jane, told Monitor that the boat had a hole that was letting in water.

In 2016, about 40 footballers and fans drowned when their boat capsized on Lake Albert on Christmas Day as they travelled to participate in a friendly football match.