It was originally an only invite party by Prince David Wasajja and his friend David Freeman Kiyimba.. Tashobya Nsubuga believes more than one hundred revelers were on board.. The boats engine was switched off when the waves intensified which she thinks could have been a mistake .. No passenger manifest was recorded before takeoff. She says the organisers nearly called off the trip few hours before takeoff.
Justin Tashobya, one of the survivors from last weekend boat cruise accident on Lake Victoria says the organisers nearly called off the trip a few hours before takeoff. It would have been the second time that the event was being postponed because of lack or delay in the arrival of the vessel, after calling off the initial event on November 10.
Known among her friends as Tash, Justin told Uganda Radio Network that they were supposed to take off at noon on Saturday from KK Beach, Gaba but the boat showed up almost five hours later.
She says some of them became impatient after long hours of waiting for the boat. It was after the accident that they recollected and realized that the boat had been mechanically faulty and the delay was caused by repairs that were hastily done in preparation for the journey.
Tashobya says when it clocked 3:30 p.m., Prince David Wasajja and some of the key organizers held a meeting contemplating calling of the trip to K Palm beach in Mukono, where a party had been organized.
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According to Tashobya, the cruise was an all-paid-for trip, so none of those invited paid for it. Prince David Wasajja and David Freeman had been also selected as invitees. The partying and merry-making had started at KK beach in Gaba. So some of those earlier invited also invited friends at KK beach. Tashobya says there was also a suggestion to abandon the trip and continue with the party at KK beach.
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Tashobya believes the number of those that would have boarded the boat would have been much fewer had it arrived and set off on time. The more the boat delayed to arrive for takeoff, the more and more people would join those already partying at KK beach according to Tashobya.
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Tashobya Sensed danger but ignored it
Tashobya recollects that the first mistake would come at the time of boarding. Tashobya had been on similar boat cruises but not with MV K-Palm. She noticed that no registration of those boarding the boat was made as required especially for passenger boats and ferries.
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She says each of those on the cruise was given life-jackets but many of them abandoned the lifejacket in disregard of the likely danger. According to Tashobya, neither the captain of the boat or the crew members briefed those on board about the safety requirements.
She remembers that there was too much partying on the boat and that the number was big. So she and her sister chose a less noisy VIP section of the boat where Prince David Wasajja and others were seated.
Tashobya says Prince Wasajja would occasionally join those dancing at the deck then return to his seat as they sailed through the previously calm water until the waves began. Other passengers realized something wasn't right as the boat got repeatedly hit by the waves.
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It was a narrow escape for Tashobya. She was in denial as the boat capsized. She had no life jacket; there were no life savers on the boat. It was until when the person manning the engine jumped into the lake that Tashobya realized that she was in danger.
It is emerging that the person behind the engine had suggested to Templar Bisasse to divert the boat to a nearby island but Bisasse declined.
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Tashobya struggled to swim to the next Island and today, she feels fortunate that God spared her. She went home alive and not in a body bag.
Full details of this Survivor's tale will be available on this week's edition of National Perspective at Ugandaradionetwork.com / national perspective