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Uganda Boat Capsizes, Killing 15 - 2004-02-03

Police in western Uganda say at least 15 people drowned, and more than two dozen are still missing after their boat capsized in Lake Albert early Monday.

Police in Masindi district in western Uganda say more than 80 people were aboard a vessel meant to carry half that number.

Officials believe the overloaded boat encountered poor visibility and rough waters shortly after it left a lakeside village around two o'clock in the morning, local time. The boat was on its way from Masindi district to Nebbi district, about four hours sailing time to the north.

More than 30 passengers have been rescued. But the police say hope is quickly fading for the passengers still missing.

Last July, about 20 people died after their boat capsized in bad weather on the same lake. Such accidents are common in Uganda, where boat owners frequently overload their vessels with extra passengers to make more money.