A Kenya police official says nine musicians have drowned when their boat capsized on the Kenyan side of Lake Victoria.
Associated Press [AP] quotes Nyanza regional head of police Willy Lugusa who said the rest of the 17 people on the boat Saturday morning were rescued.
“The bodies of the other nine are yet to be recovered. We believe they are dead for now,” Lugusa said.
Police said the boat was carrying artists of the Boyieta Wuod Awasi music group to Ndenda Island in western Kenya, where the group was expected to perform Saturday evening.
According to Standard Media Kenya, many of them drowned when their boat was just three nautical miles from the shore; an equivalent five kilometres on land.
The boat ferrying members of the popular Extra Young Ohangla band began to take in water at about 8 am, with seepage from the hull quickly filling the vessel with the shore just 20 minutes away.
“We were about to dock when we noticed the boat was stalling. Water was seeping from the bottom and it soon started to capsize,” Phillip Ouma, one of the eight band members who survived told The Standard.
“We prayed and cried for help. We could see some people at the beach far off. We shouted for anyone we could see, but it was too late. Those who could swim survived and were rescued by fishermen. Those who could not, died a painful death,” said Ouma.
“It was a classic case of God for us all and everyone for himself. I survived because of my swimming skills,” said Kamulus Owidhi, the boat’s coxswain.