By Samuel Nkuba
A fisherman drowned after jumping off a fishing boat in fear of a marine Police boat which was on routine patrol near Mukalangala landing site in Bwendero village of Bujumba sub-county in Kalangala district.
The incident happened at around 6:00pm on Thursday, April 28, where fishermen, identified as Mangen and Ssebagala residing in Kitundwe point at Bweeza – Dajje village, were allegedly using illegal boats and fishing gear.
Allegations indicate that the two jumped off the boat after sighting a Lutoboka marine detach patrol boat patrolling around the Lake Victoria waters.
Jimmy Kibirige, the area chairperson, said Mangen managed to swim towards the shoreline, but Ssebagala was not as lucky.
“The search for his body is ongoing, but we hope to discover it on Saturday morning or Sunday this week,” said Kibirige.
Rajab Ssemakula, the Kalangala district chairperson, urged fishermen to stop thr tendency of jumping off the boats whenever the marine police or Fish Protection Unit sail come close to their fishing boats.
“Accept being imprisoned rather than losing your life and leaving your families, children, relatives, and friends whose survival depends on you to suffer,” he said.
Muhammad Nsubuga, the greater Masaka Regional Police Spokesperson, confirmed the death of Ssebagala and distanced the marine police from allegations of knocking the fishing boat.
This is not the first time that fishermen are jumping off boats, but it has become a common phenomenon, whenever Police and UPDF come across them while engaging in illegal fishing on Lake Victoria.