The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network, Breaking News Tanzania

Eleven Dead, Ten Missing As Mourners’ Boat Sinks in Zanzibar

Ten bodies of the dead passengers whose boat reportedly capsized and sank, near Zanzibar Tuesday evening have been fished from the sea and taken to a hospital in Pemba.

Meanwhile search and rescue operations launched to trace the other twenty missing people were forced into a halt on Tuesday night due to darkness and rising water levels.

The boat accident which killed more than ten people, occured on the Indian Ocean waters around the Pemba Island within the Zanzibar archipelago, on the Tanzanian coast.

Some 15 people have been rescued from the sea, after the incident.

The South-Pemba Regional Commissioner, Matar Zahor Masoud, confirmed the incident saying the exact number of people who were sailing inside the fateful vessel was still unkown, but it was estimated to have been more than 30.

Boat passengers were traveling from Chake-Chake along the Pemba channel, heading to the Octopus rich Kisiwa-Panza Islet where they were to attend a burial ceremony, but in between the journey their boat capsized and got sucked under water.

“Which is rather strange,” stated the South-Pemba Regional Commissioner, Masoud, explaining that the sea was calm and the weather has also been clear and sunny throghout the day.

According to the official, there were several boats making the journey from Chake-Chake to Kisiwa Panza Islet, carying mourners. People suspects that maybe the sank boat was overloaded.

“We are resuming rescue operations in the morning (Wednesday), hoping to find survivors,” said Masoud.

For nearly 30 years now, the Kisiwa Panza islet located within the marine-managed area known as the Pemba Channel Conservation Area has been suffering from rising seas believed to be the results of global warming and climate change.

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