Authorities have said they have completed the first phase of flipping MV Templar that had turned upside down after capsizing has been finished.
Addressing journalists about the progress of the operation, AIGP Asuman Mugenyi, who together with Brig.Michael Nyarwa, the UPDF commander in charge of marine said as the operation begun, they set a number of targets to be followed before accomplishing it.
“Initially, our first target was to get wreckage out of water and be able to recover the missing persons and we have succeeded in turning the wreckage,”Mugenyi said.
Explaining more about the operation, the police director in charge of operations said the boat had turned upside down and it was difficult for them to drag it out of the deep waters in such a state.
He noted that before dragging it out of the scene of accident where it had been trapped by mud, they had to first turn it up right before seeing the next phase of action.
“We had to restore it to a position that would enable towing it either by using a rope or using a ferry to pull it.”
According to Brig.Nyarwa, they also had to look at safety of divers before they could be let into the wreckage to find out if there are any bodies or property trapped in.
“We had a problem of safety of divers who could not try to find out if anyone is still trapped beneath the wreckage. We are now going to assess if it is possible for divers to enter and check the wreckage properly if there are any bodies still trapped inside,”Brig.Nyarwa said.
According to authorities, they are now looking at using ropes and earthmoving equipment to see the wreckage is pulled to the shores of the lake for investigations to continue.
Mugenyi said divers will now try to check through the wreckage to see if there are any bodies and property still trapped in it before it is pulled to the shore.
He added that so far they have got only four reports of missing persons including Sylivia Namutebi, Peter Kakooza, Godfrey Musisi and Andrew Ssenyonga from their relatives.
The police director in charge of investigations said investigations into the accident will continue and witnesses will be summoned to record statements.