Survivor found inside capsized Tanzania ferry; toll hits 209

MV Nyerere

The captain of an overloaded ferry that capsized on Lake Victoria has been arrested as the East African nation mourns the almost 200 people killed in the latest maritime disaster.

The engineer had locked himself in a small room inside the ship, and the divers pulled him out of the vessel. The death toll has risen to 183, with the number of survivors now standing at 41.

Rescuers search to retrieve bodies from the water after a ferry overturned off the shores of Ukerewe Island on Lake Victoria, Tanzania, Sept. 21, 2018.

It is thought the ship tipped when passengers moved over to one side.

Addressing the nation on Friday evening, President John Magufuli said he has information that the captain left the duty of steering the ferry to a person who was not formally trained for the job.

The ferry had a capacity of 100 people and about 25 tons of cargo, but officials said the vessel was carrying more than 400 when it capsized Thursday.

It is not uncommon for ferries to capsize in the massive lake, and the number of fatalities is often high due to a shortage of life jackets and the fact that many people in the region can not swim.

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The condition of the survivor was not immediately clear.

It's unclear how many passengers were aboard the ferry.

Tanzanian rescue workers search for victims after the ferry MV Nyerere capsized in Lake Victoria. Some of the deadliest have occurred in Tanzania, where aging passenger ferries often carry hundreds of passengers and well beyond capacity. The wire service said the vessel's engineer was rescued near the engine.

And almost 200 people died in 2011 when the MV Spice Islander I sank off Tanzania's Indian Ocean coast near Zanzibar.

VOA Swahili reports one man, Charles Misango, lost 11 members of his family in the accident and is urging President John Magufuli's government to accept responsibility for the disaster. "I do not know how I am going to raise my two children", she said.

Separately, many drowning victims did not how to swim, a point the Red Cross would address to prevent further tragedy - especially in waterfront communities, Jola said.

The country's opposition has accused the government of "negligence". "We have repeatedly denounced this negligence", said John Mnyika, the deputy secretary general of Chadema, the main opposition party.

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