11 children drown in Zimbabwe

Dec. 27, 2011 at 7:39 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe, Dec. 27 (UPI) -- Eleven children drowned in a lake in Zimbabwe when the overloaded boat they were in capsized, survivors said.

The boat, which can carry five people, had three adults and 16 children on board Sunday for a cruise, the Harare newspaper, The Herald reported Tuesday. The boat capsized on Lake Chivero as it neared the shoreline in Harare.

"Before departing, someone had suggested that one of the crew members stay behind, but he refused saying he was there to assist the driver," survivor Shanice Ruzvidzo, 14, said. "During the cruise, the skipper asked us what we would do if we were to capsize. That is when we asked him to let us disembark at Hunyani Hills.

"As we approached the shoreline to dock, he reduced speed and the boat's nose dipped and the craft flipped over," she added.

Warren Nyekete, an official from Lake Navigation Control, said his department normally would have been patrolling the lake to enforce safety, but the overloaded boat was cruising the lake past 6 p.m., when boats are not permitted on the lake.

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