The Slatest

At Least 31 Dead After Overcrowded Party Boat Capsizes

Five men in orange vests look over the waters while standing on a rescue vessel. Overhead, a helicopter hovers.
Rescuers search for victims at the site of a capsized cruise boat on Lake Victoria on November 25, 2018.
Isaac Kasamani/Getty Images

At least 31 people in Uganda have died after a party boat in poor condition capsized on Saturday in Lake Victoria. Authorities are still searching the lake for more victims and the death toll is expected to rise.

According to the Associated Press, there were thought to be around 100 revelers—though some have said the number was closer to 120—on a boat meant to hold half the number of people. The owners of the boat, who also died in the accident, according to the Washington Post, did not have a license to operate the boat. The unsteady and overloaded boat was met by rough weather and overturned around 7 p.m. Many of the partygoers were not wearing life jackets.

At least 27 people were rescued overnight on Saturday. Several locals attempted to rescue people in fishing boats, and two of the boats also became overcrowded and sank, according to the BBC. At least one man who braved the waters to rescue victims drowned, the AP reported.

A Ugandan recording artist and a prince, the brother of the king of Buganda, Uganda’s largest traditional kingdom, were among those who died, according to the BBC.

In September, a ferry carrying hundreds of people in Lake Victoria capsized on the Tanzanian side of the lake, killing more than 200 people. After Saturday’s tragedy, Uganda’s president is calling for more thorough safety regulations for vessels on the lake.