Two die, 8 rescued as boat capsizes in Lake Victoria

Homa Bay boat capsize

Homa Bay town residents gather at the scene where a boat carrying 19 people capsized on September 21, 2021.

Photo credit: George Odiwuor | Nation Media Group

Two people have died while at least eight others have been rescued after a boat they were traveling in capsized in Lake Victoria on Tuesday evening.

More people who were on the boat could not be immediately accounted for.

The vessel, which had set sail from Homa Bay town pier heading to Ndhuru in Suba Sub-County, was hit by waves in the lake before it started drawing in water.

All passengers who were on the vessel were thrown overboard.

At least 16 people are said to have boarded the vessel which operates daily between the two areas.

But the number could not be immediately confirmed, with speculation that there might have been more people on board.

The vessel usually leaves Suba in the morning before docking at the pier at 11am. It makes a return journey from the pier at 3pm.

But on Tuesday, tragedy struck when the vessel capsized with traders and other travellers in it.

Homa Bay boat capsize

Fishermen at Koginga beach in Homa Bay town search for survivors of the boat accident on September 21, 2021.

Photo credit: George Odiwuor | Nation Media Group

Heavy load

Witnesses said the boat was also carrying bags of cement and timber, together with the passengers who had no life jackets on.

It is believed that the heavy load could have contributed to the accident.

Following the incident, fishermen who were nearby rushed to the scene in an attempt to rescue survivors.

Two bodies including that of an infant were immediately removed from water and taken to Homa Bay County Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary.

Homa Bay Sub-County Deputy County Commissioner Jude Wesonga and Homa Bay Township Location Chief Joshua Ochogo were present at the scene.

Mr Ochogo said a search for the missing individuals was ongoing.

But the search and rescue mission was being hampered by rain and wind which put the lives of the rescuers at risk.

The administrator warned water vessel passengers against boarding overloaded boats, saying it puts lives at risk.