Entebbe International Airport has acquired a life-saving firefighting marine boat to facilitate marine rescue operations at Lake Victoria.
According to the Director of security for Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, Eng. Sooma Ayub, the boat has capacity to rescue 50 passengers in case of an accident on Lake Victoria.
Speaking at it’s launch at South Pier in Entebbe on Wednesday, Eng. Ayub said the boat also has the unique capacity to rapidly respond and put out a fire in case it broke out on the lake.
The newly acquired boat has 500 horse power engine with a 50-note speed making it one of the fastest boats on Lake Victoria.
“It has the Global Positioning System (GPS), echo-sounder, beat-locator and a water pump which is manually operated to put out a fire in a distance of 9.5metres,” described Sooma.
With the newly acquired boat and other rescue boats previously acquired, Eng. Ayub says the authority, has capacity to rescue 450 passengers in an unfortunate event of a catastrophe.
During the pass out ceremony for fire fighters and marine rescuers last year, CAA Deputy Managing Director Fred Mwesigye said the aviation industry in Uganda is experiencing tremendous growth which is reflected in the number of new flights and the increasing number of arrivals at the airport, thus the need to have professional manpower that can handle catastrophes in case it occurs.
He said that CAA will continue investing in human personnel and acquiring new equipment such as marine boats and fire extinguishing trucks since the demand for the services in the country is expected to be high following the government decision of opening up new airports and the development of the country’s aerodromes which are distributed across the country.