The death toll has hit 13 as a search team gives up any hope of finding any more bodies 48 hours after an overloaded boat capsized on the Volta river at Yeji.

Five more bodies including a pregnant woman were retrieved from the lake as the sunset on Monday, May 30. 

Six children under three years were first pulled out of the river during a late afternoon search by the Ghana Navy on Sunday, May 29. Two more were found Monday morning.

The boat with about 70 people on board is said to have hit a tree stump and sunk in the middle of their journey from Nantwekope to Yeji in the Brong Ahafo region.

According to Daniel Takyi of Alive FM in Yeji, the accident happened 45 minutes away from the mainland, a travelling distance that hampered any hope for a quick rescue.

Despite the presence of a rescue team from the Ghana Navy, they came without boats and had to rely on outboard motor of private boat operators, a National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) coordinator explained to Joy News.

He also explained that the simple implements were used to help find bodies in the lake. A hook is tied to a rope on a sort of fishing expedition for dead bodies.

A man said only one body of his four relatives has been retrieved. Chances of finding the three others are slim as search operation is expected to end by Wednesday morning.

It emerged that passengers often shun the use of life jackets. They claim it is uncomfortable wearing the life-saving jacket. According to a boat owner, the passengers reject the life jackets for fear of contracting diseases.

The frustrated boat owners told the reporter that, the disaster could have been prevented if the passengers had life jackets on. 

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