Tanzania Lake Victoria tragedy: Govt praises fishermen for rescue role in sunken ship

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Mwanza. The Mwanza Regional Commissioner, Mr John Mongella has praised fishermen at Bwisya Village, Ukara Island, Ukerewe District for their role in rescuing some of the people who were involved in the Lake Victoria MV Nyerere ferry tragedy.

Briefing the Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa during the burial of those who died in the accident, Mr Mongella said the fishermen were able to rescue about 40 people during the day that the accident occurred.

The ferry, traveling between the Ukara and Bugolora Islets, capsized on Thursday at 13:48 hours about 50 metres from the berth as it was about to dock.

Information about the accident reached the Regional Commissioner’s Office at 14:10 hours, according to Mr Mongella.

“The fishermen offered their boats….they gave themselves turns in the rescue operations…by the time the team from the Mwanza Regional Headquarters arrived here at 16:45 on Thursday, fishermen from this village had already managed to rescue about 40 people,” he said, thanking them for the role.

The Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Mr Isack Kamwelwe shared similar sentiments.

“By the time I arrived, I found fishermen busy taking part in the rescue operation…they have done a commendable job and the government thanks them very much,” he said.

He said a total of 224 died in the accident. The number includes 126 women, 71 men, 17 girls and 10 boys.