Thousands of people on Sunday morning descended on Nkhata Bay Jetty following shocking death of a man loading goods in a boat destined for Likoma Island.
Richard Lungu, aged about 30, slipped from a canoe into the rough waters of Lake Malawi around 9am while loading crates of Chibuku opaque beer into Limani Boat just about to sail for the island district.
The man was pronounced dead around 12.15pm when divers located his body at the bottom of the windy lake, sending nearly 2 000 travellers and onlookers into shock.
“It is surprising why it took nearly three hours to find the body with marine police called to duty,” said one of the eyewitnesses, Luke Mkandawire.
Others wondered what would happen if the boat capsized in the middle of the lake given the rescue lapse that marred the tragedy at the harbour that is supposed to be fully equipped for emergencies.
This puts into question the safety of passengers to Likoma and Chizumulu islands who risk their goods and lives due to lack of proper jetties though it is no secret water transport is their sole lifeline to the mainland.
In an interview, Nkhata Bay Police spokesperson Ignatius Esau confirmed the drowning asking for more time to get in touch with marine officers.