LAKE FERRY STALLS ENROUTE FROM SSESE ISLANDS
(Posted 24th May 2014)
The privately owned Lake Victoria ferry MV Pearl yesterday stalled halfway enroute from Kalangala to Bukakata leaving passengers on the ferry pondering their fate. It was the first trip in the morning from the main island of the Ssese group, also delaying the first trip from the mainland near Masaka to the island.
The Ssese Islands are the largest group of islands in Lake Victoria and located in the Ugandan waters of the lake.
Information received later spoke of the propeller getting crippled after running over illegal fishing nets which were laid into the regular route of the ferry. Only when a diver was brought to the floating ferry – no danger existed for passengers and vehicles on board – was it possible to remove the nets and restart the engine to complete the journey.
The Ssese Islands are of scenic beauty and often many still hardly inhabited, making it an ideal getaway for tourists who want to visit the island group and stay in some of the small resorts which have sprung up over the past years. Many of the islands are forested with a rich bird life and fishing in the waters is a popular sport, but also a profession as fishermen bring out their nets at night to sell their catch in the morning.
The stalling of the ferry is at least the second time in recent months that this happened and the ferry company has reportedly now involved the Ministry of Transport to ensure that the main route is declared off limits for fishermen.