Uganda's Museveni says capsized cruise boat was overloaded, 29 dead

Rescue and recovery missions gather at the shores of Lake Victoria during the search for the bodies of dead passengers after

Ugandan diving teams are retrieving bodies from Lake Victoria, where police say at least 30 people died in a boat accident near the capital, Kampala.

Divers have recovered 31 bodies from Lake Victoria after a party boat capsized in one of Uganda's deadliest maritime disasters.

"Such boats can not carry more than 50 people, " said lawmaker Johnson Muyanja, who represents part of the district of Mukono, the site of the accident.

He could not give the exact number of passengers who were aboard the boat saying they are still waiting for the passenger list.

Relatives carry the dead body of their kin retrieved after a cruise boat capsized in Lake Victoria off Mukono district Ugand

"We suspect the mechanical condition of the boat and the weather contributed to the sinking", he added.

Local government official Richard Kikongo said: "A big storm hit".

First responders were reportedly among the victims.

Image: The boat could be seen under the water. The boat was traveling from a private beach and had a capacity of 50 people - but was unregistered, unlicensed and possibly uninsured. The passengers were too distracted by the party atmosphere to heed the warning, she said.

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Police spokesman Emilian Kayima said rescue efforts were continuing.

She narrated that they tried to cling on the boat as they screamed but majority were already drunk and had taken off their life jackets. Thirteen bodies were retrieved that night, before the search-and-rescue mission paused their operation due to inadequate equipment.

More than 200 people were killed in September after a dangerously overcrowded Tanzanian ferry capsized, officials said.

Rescuers search for victims at the site of a capsized cruise boat on Lake Victoria near Mutima village, south of Kampala, Uganda, on November 25, 2018. We have brought all the marine components of UPDF (Uganda People's Defence Force) and police and other rescue services.

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The boat is believed to have been on a routine weekend cruise that is popular among some young Ugandans.

In 1966, more than 800 people lost their lives on Lake Victoria when the MV Bukoba sank off the mainland town of Mwanza, according to the Red Cross.

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