14 Adventists Die After Boat Capsizes in Luapula, Zambia
11 April 2023 |
Members of an Adventist church choir were on a banana boat on Lake Bangweulu in Luapula, Zambia, when it capsized on March 31, due to strong winds in the area.
According to Adventist World, Member of Parliament Chushi Kasanda reported that the boat was carrying 44 people from the Kashita area to Chishi Island. After the boat capsized, 30 people were immediately rescued from the waters, but the other 14 were initially missing. Eventually, military marines who assisted in the rescue operation managed to retrieve the 14 bodies from the waters.
“The pain of losing so many lives of young people in a single tragedy of this magnitude is unbearable,” Kasanda said in a long Facebook post on April 1. “Our hearts go out to the families of the missing and presumed dead. We share in their pain and grief.”
Zambia’s government is led by President Hakainde Hichilema, who is a Seventh-day Adventist himself. The government has promised to provide coffins, food, and other logistical support for the bereaved families after the tragedy.
According to the Lusaka Times, President Hichilema also shared an official release. “To all the bereaved families and the wider [Seventh-day Adventist] Church, please accept my government’s deepest condolences for the untimely death of your beloved ones,” he said. “As a government, we sympathize with you, and we will ensure that the funeral expenses are covered.”
A mass funeral took place on April 2. as the bodies were eventually recovered by marines, community members, and police.