For many of the survivors of the boat cruise tragedy that has so far left more than 30 people dead, those few minutes between life and death felt like an eternity.
As some tightly held onto the sinking boat with rosaries in hand, others summoned their swimming skills.
They patiently waited for rescuers but for some life was starting to slip away. Some, especially the ladies, started talking about their children and how they would miss them if they perished.
According to Shamilah Nsereko, one of the survivors, before the boat took off for the fateful journey, it was clear that many things were wrong about it.
For it to get onto the water at KK beach in Ggaba, it had to be aided by a tractor.
“Deep in the water, the engine stopped on a number of occasions and the captain had to maintain and restart it. All of us thought it was normal of the boat,”said Nsereko.
She said the boat started losing balance on one side but they thought it was normal.
“Most of the people were drunk at this time and despite the boat sinking slowly by slowly, they didn’t realise,” Nsereko said as her eyes teared up.
They realised things had gone worse when one of the loud speakers fell off the boat.
“We tried to go to the front of the boat to balance it but it was too late as the hind part had already sunk.”
Another survivor, Edward Kateregga, explained that there was panic on the boat after realising it had started to sink.
“Many, especially women died due to panic,”Kateregga said.
Nsereko says that in order to survive,they held each other and formed sort of a chain and were able to swim to the shore.
“We designed a pattern so as to save ourselves by holding onto each other. Until we were saved,” he said.
Francis Ssenkeezi said that after realising the boat had capsized, he swam to the bottom of the water before coming out far away from the boat.
He then clung onto its too body and was able to be saved.
According to Kateregga, a canoe came to their rescue prompting many of the revellers to rush to jump onto it.
“When I realised many people had jumped onto the canoe, I jumped off, Kateregga said.
It was not long before the canoe that had come to save the situation also capsized killing many of the people including the rescuers.
Over 30 dead, 50 still missing
Meanwhile,the death toll in the Lake Victoria boat tragedy on Sunday reached 32 according to minister of state for Transport, Aggrey Bagiire.
The minister earlier said the boat was stopped from making the fateful journey but the proprietor refused to adhere to the order.
Bagiire said a former operator of the boat told them that the boat was not in good mechanical condition and the marine police had refused the boat to take off from K-Palm Beach but the owners and other revellers overpowered the police.
As of Monday morning, efforts to retrieve more bodies were still ongoing.