Tragic Lake Victoria Canoe Capsize: 13 Feared Dead, 14 Rescued

Tragic Lake Victoria Canoe Capsize: 13 Feared Dead, 14 Rescued

A grave tragedy unfolded on the serene waters of Lake Victoria, the heart of Africa, when two canoes capsized near Muchigondo village in the Igundu Ward, Bunda District. Reports suggest that thirteen people, who were returning from church, are feared dead, painting a heartbreaking tableau that has shocked the community.

Bunda District Commissioner, Dr. Vicent Naano, narrated the harrowing incident to the ‘Daily News.’ He confirmed that the victims were on their journey back home from a service at the Mennonite Church of Tanzania (KMT) when they were caught in this calamitous incident. The timing of the event, around 6:30 pm on a Sunday evening, has made the situation more melancholic, with people trying to grapple with the reality of the catastrophe.

According to Dr. Naano, one of the canoes sprung a leak while crossing Lake Victoria. Recognizing the imminent danger, the occupants of the other canoe attempted to execute a rescue mission. In the ensuing chaos and panic, the rescue canoe was swarmed, became overloaded, and consequently capsized.

Dr. Naano expressed his grief over the incident: “With everyone competing for space into the safe canoe, it became overloaded and had to drown. We are doing all we can to ensure all the missing people are rescued.”

As of now, of the thirteen people reported missing, the body of a year-old child has tragically been recovered, adding another layer of sorrow to this already grim event. However, in a shred of optimistic news, fourteen other people have been rescued, underlining the quick and efficient response of the rescue operations that are still ongoing in the aftermath of the incident.

When contacted, Fire and Rescue Force Commander in the Mara Region, Agostino Magere, could not provide an exact figure of casualties, as he was en route to the accident scene. He promised to deliver an official statement upon his arrival, a much-awaited update that the local community and the nation at large are anticipating.

The tranquil waters of Lake Victoria, one of the African Great Lakes, are known for their beauty and bounty. However, incidents like this underline the challenges and potential dangers that the lake can present. This tragedy serves as a poignant reminder of the need for robust safety measures and rescue services on the continent’s largest lake. As we mourn the lives lost, we also commend the heroic efforts of the rescuers, and await more updates on this heartbreaking event.

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