By Andrew Irumba
The Uganda Police Marine Unit on Sunday rescued sailors aboard the MV Vanessa on Lake Victoria, after the vessel broke down on its voyage from Kalangala district to Water Front Beach, Entebbe.
Spy Uganda has learnt that the police responded to a distress call from one of the sailors on the vessel and promptly deployed marines to rescue the sailors before another tragedy like that of MV Templar could happen.
Shortly after the rescue, Kampala Metropolitan Police deputy spokesperson ASP Luke Oweyesigire issued a statement on social media about the incident, stating thus;
“Today at about 5:02pm, our Police Marine Unit responded to a distress call from Lake Victoria. According to the caller, a boat, MV Vanessa, which they had boarded from Kalangala District heading to Water Front Beach Entebbe, got stuck on the lake. The passengers were scared of what could happen next.
Police responded and later got to know that it was not a mechanical issue that had made the boat to fail, but they had run out of fuel.The boat management was sending fuel and the rescue team arrived at 5:17pm with fuel which enabled them to sail again to Lutoboka.
We have summoned the boat captain to record statements upon what exactly happened and why he had opted to set sail without enough fuel.
Our officers in the Police Marine unit have also confirmed that all the occupants of the boat arrived safely at their destination and theirs is no cause of alarm.
However we appeal to the public to always inform our Police Marine Unit whenever such issues happen on our toll free line 0800 300113.”
It should be recalled that last year over 30 partiers who were enjoying a boat cruise aboard the MV Templar perished after the boat developed a mechanical problem and capsized on Lake Victoria. A few of the sailors survived the accident.
At the time of the tragedy the parties, who included several city businessmen, singer Iryn Namubiru, Prince David Wasajja and others were sailing from K-Palm Beach in Gaba heading to Mutima beach in Mukono district to ferociously enjoy themselves.