At least 12 people are feared dead after a Tanzanian boat that was sailing from Mbamba Bay in Tanzania to Nkhata Bay in Malawi sunk on Lake Malawi in the dawn hours of Saturday.
Confirming the sad news to Malawi News Agency (MANA), outgoing Assistant Surveyor of Vessels responsible for Likoma Island and Nkhata Bay,
Chikumbutso Ziyaya said that a Tanzanian MV Mapeza was sailing from Mbamba Bay to Nkhata Bay but the passengers last talked to people from Nkhata Bay at around 3 o’clock in the morning.
“We last talked to MV Mapeza passengers around 3 in the morning asking tobe rescued after their boat was full of water due to strong mwera wind,” Ziyaya explained.
Ziyaya then said that due to lack of funds his office failed to send arescue team the passangers.
“Due to lack of funds we failed to rescue the passengers. But a private boat owned by Shad went around 7 in the morning to rescue the passengers but it was too late,” Ziyaya said.
“I suspect that the boat had a faulty water pump that is why the vessel was unable to flash out water from the boat,” Ziyaya said.
According to Ziyaya, the private boat that went to rescue the passengers returned to Nkhata Bay without tracing MV Mapeza.
Most passenger boats that sail from Likoma Island to Nkhata Bay are not sea worthy.
Just last week another boat sailing from Likoma Island to Nkhata Bay had to be towed by another private boat.
Credit: All Africa