By Fred Kiva
KAMPALA. A wreckage of ill-fated MV Templar that capsized on Lake Victoria, killing over 30 people on Saturday has been retrieved from the water.
According to a statement issued by Senior Superintendent of Police Zurah Ganyana on behalf of the Police Spokesperson, the wreckage was pulled out with the help of MV Kalangala on Wednesday afternoon.
“The boat wreckage has been successfully pulled from underneath the water and strategies are now being laid to tow it to the mainland,” Ganyana said.
“The teams are still doing their best to recover uncounted missing persons who are among others; Peter Kakooza of Masaka, Sylvia Namutebi of Nakisunga, Godfrey Musisi of Kabalagala, Andrew Ssenyonga of Kireka, and also recover property trapped under the wreckage,” She added.
Ganyana’s statement however fell short of whether other bodies had been recovered from the wreckage as earlier reported that divers had reportedly spotted a body trapped in the wreckage. This marks the end of several failed attempts to remove the wreckage since Monday, including use of a police excavator.
“We wish to make a special appeal to all people who use water transport to respect and adhere to the safety precautions, more so the use of life jackets,” Ganyana emphasized.
A joint team of Police and UPDF Marine personnel has been combing the Lake waters in search of survivors and dead bodies, since Saturday when the accident occurred.
The boat reportedly loaded with over 100 party goers capsized on Saturday evening near Mutima Beach on Lake Victoria in Mukono district. 33 bodies have so far been retrieved from the waters while over 60 others were rescued. Earlier on Wednesday, the search team had recovered documents belonging to nine persons, also believed to have been on the ill-fated boat.
The boat tragedy, the second of its kind on Lake Victoria in just two months has prompted parliament to declare Friday November 30th a national day of mourning for the lives lost.