Malawi Defence Force (MDF), which is searching for 11 people missing in the Rumphi Boat tragedy, has said it cannot conclude that the missing people are dead even when it exhausts all measures for the searching operation.
Five people have been confirmed dead and 11 are reported to be missing after a boat carrying over 70 people mostly CCAP Synod of Livingstonia members capsized on Sunday on Lake Malawi almost 100 metres away from the shore at Mlowe in Rumphi District.
Meanwhile, MDF intensified the search for the missing people by deploying two more divers to a team of six and also deployed more soldiers from Chilumba Barracks to assist in the search.
However, the Tuesday to Wednesday search was fruitless as no persons were rescued and no bodies were recovered in the search.
Despite embarking on a fruitless search, MDF spokesperson Wilned Chawinga on Wednesday said MDF cannot conclude that those still missing are dead like the Synod has put it. He said the victims are still missing people and MDF will continue searching for them.
Rumphi Police Station officer-in-charge James Mpezeni said the number of those dead remains at five and survivors at 54. He too said there was a possibility that some of the missing people made it to the shore.
But he said the police have not received any reports of strangers in nearby villages or of bodies floating on the lake. n