. . . Four bodies fear dead
Paul Pindani in Chinhoyi
A boat which was sailing from Nyaodza Fishing Camp to Lake Harvest Harbour in Kariba town with eight passengers, capsized during the wee hours of Thursday morning, killing one person while three survived and four others remain unaccounted for.
The unfortunate incident happened near Ndomo Fishing Camp.
The boat owner and two soldiers were among those who were rescued while one of their colleagues is among the four people still missing in the boat disaster.
A man and his four-year-old child are also missing.
An eye witness who helped rescue some of the victims together with his three colleagues, Chenjerai Zambezi said the boat capsized after being hit by a raging wave in Lake Kariba.
Zambezi said the boat capsized around 4am.
“The boat had eight passengers on board. They were travelling during the night when heavy winds rocked the lake resulting in a big wave hitting the boat which capsized with all its passengers.”
“Five people drowned. We heard some people wailing and asking for help as the boat was a stone’s throw away from our fishing camp at Gachekache.
“So we reacted swiftly and took an engine boat heading towards the direction.
“We managed to rescue three people from the boat,” said Zambezi.
He said early Friday morning, they managed to retrieve some luggage and a body of a woman which was floating in the lake.
“So there are still four other people who are missing. Some members of the police sub aqua unit came but they could not do anything because no one knows the exact position where the boat capsized.
“Those that were rescued were being drifted by wind. That is how they managed to survive. Today (Sunday) we want to go back into the lake to search for the other missing people but we are being hampered by the heavy winds,” said Zambezi.
A Harare man who lost his wife in the tragedy said he was still in a state of shock and devastated.
The husband, Ignatius Madhuve told H-Metro that he was devastated upon hearing the tragedy.
Madhuve said his wife had gone to Kariba as she usually goes there frequently on her business trips.
“I was not there when the unfortunate incident happened. I am in Harare. I lost my wife in the boat that capsized. She used to go for her business trips to Kariba,” said Madhuve.
He said they were yet to make any funeral arrangements as they are waiting for other relatives to come to Harare.
“We are yet to make funeral arrangements as we are waiting for our grandfathers to arrive from the rural areas,” said Madhuve.
The owner of the boat Clever Muvengwa who was also in the boat said all was well before a strong wave hit the boat resulting in it capsizing.
Members of the Zimbabwe National Army ZNA who had some life jackets, after realizing that the boat was filling with water, jumped into the lake and started swimming for safety.
“We were sailing smoothly before tragedy struck us,” said Muvengwa.
However, it is suspected that the boat capsized due to the overwhelming weight of both the passengers and luggage as it was loaded over its carrying capacity.
Members of the police sub aqua unit and ZNA Boat Squadron are leading the rescue team.
By the time of going to print the four bodies were yet to be recovered.