3 fishers dead after overloaded boat capsizes in Lake Victoria

Tuesday January 29 2019

Lake Victoria

Fishermen go about their business in Lake Victoria near Nambo Beach, September 6, 2018. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VIVERE NANDIEMO
By VIVERE NANDIEMO
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Three fishers from Nyatike in Migori County died on Tuesday afternoon when their boat capsized in Lake Victoria, in the latest vessel accident in Africa’s largest fresh water body.

The two women and a man were among ten people who had been going about routine activities.

They were identified as Ms Mary Adhiambo (24), Ms Grace Adhiambo(26) and boat rider Mr Wiclife Otieno (28).

STRONG WAVES

North Kadem Beach Management Unit Chairman John Wenje said the incident took place near Kawo Beach at about 1pm.

“They were in one boat and were returning from a fishing expedition when the boat capsized due to strong waves,” said

The association handles the welfare of fishers and has in the past, with other lobby groups, called for safety regulations to be put in place urgently to prevent tragedies.

Mr Wenje said the other people were rescued by local divers.

“Other fishers managed to retrieve the bodies of Ms Adhiambo and Ms Grace Adhiambo. They are still looking for Mr Otieno's," he said.

OVERLOADING

Nyatike divisional police commander, Mr John Musili, said the boat was "apparently overloaded".

"Fishers should not overload [boats]. They need to put their safety before anything else," he said and cautioned fishermen against going into the lake without taking safety measures.

The two bodies were taken to Migori County Referral Hospital mortuary.

"Local professional divers have ventured into the waters so we hope the third body will be recovered," he said.

PAST CASE

The incident came barely a week after a fisherman drowned in the lake after his boat capsized.

Efforts to retrieve Mr Olweya Odira's body were futile so his family appealed for more help.

Fishers said on Tuesday that the lake has become risky as strong tides have become common.

"The lake has been so dangerous in the past weeks. The tides are so strong that they sink our boats. The lucky ones swim to safety," said Jared Okinyi, a fisher.