Arnold Ssimbwa, one of the few survivors of the ill-fated boat has narrated how the boat hit a tide before sinking like the famous Titanic Ship.
On Saturday, over 30 revellers and others still missing drowned when the ‘luxury’ boat capsized during a boat cruise. According to sources, there were over 120 revellers aboard and less than 30 were rescued.
In his ordeal, Ssimbwa narrates how he cheated death by a whisker on the boat.
“Thanks guys for all your love, messages of concern and most importantly your prayers, for they did not go in vain! I am alive and safe.
Well, several stories and versions of our tragedy have graced sitting rooms, airways and the social media. Some are total lies and some are half truths, completely distorting what actually happened…
While on the lake and just 200m away from the shore, the Captain realised that the tide was high and dangerously moving towards the boat. He alerted us and requested all of us to sit down and be calm.
He decided not to hit the tide head-on but turn the boat around and drift with it. All those stories of water slipping through, of overloading the boat are all false. In the process of turning the boat, the tide hit us from the sides and due to its enormous speed, the boat was forced to flip on one of its sides in a rather slow gradual motion. Guys fell off as it slowly capsized.
I fell into the water, and came back up to frightened screams and total confusion. I decided to hold myself onto one of the boats rails under water. I could only come up once in a while to gasp for fresh air and go back under water. I prayed and prayed to God to save me, I repented all my sins and promised God I would live a better life henceforth! I prayed for one more chance to share my life with my kids.
Twenty minutes or so that chance came, an engine canoe sailed my way but it was too full. I hanged onto one of it’s sides as it moved towards the shore….just like that my life was saved, but what I found at the shore was more traumatising than the time I spent under water!
At the shore, I found bodies lined up of people I knew, people I had shared with jokes, laughter, a couple of drinks and people I have broken bread with! I could not hold myself together as I closed their eyes one by one. I couldn’t believe how short this life is, a minute is too long for one to cross over!
Some lady had called the main land and a taxi came to pick her. I had lost my phones and could not communicate to any one that I was safe, save for those that had seen me at the shore. We boarded the taxi 8 of us and headed for Mukono. Half way the trip the driver flipped and started demanding us for 50k each. We almost beat him up but later negotiated for 20k. He dropped us somewhere in Nakifuma and we boarded another taxi to Kampala.
The rest is history, but I have learnt what it actually means to be a survivor having met death face to face!
Folks, thanks for your prayers!…”