A canoe meant for five, but carried at least 15 people, has capsized on the Volta lake leaving four dead.

The four include a family of three and one other person who is yet to be identified, Joy News has learnt.

The accident occurred Monday night while the overloaded boat was moving from Yeji heading towards Makango in the East Gonja district of the Northern region.

A reporter Daniel Takyi told Joy News, officials received a distress call from the passengers after 9:30 p.m. last night.

A rescue team was dispatched last night, which managed to rescue nine persons. It also retrieved two dead bodies and two more Tuesday morning.

Explaining the circumstances surrounding the drowning, Daniel Takyi said Monday is a market day in the area. After the day had ended, some people who had come to do business were trying to return to their communities.

The official operations of boats on the lake ends at 6 p.m.

Photo: Rescue team patrol the Volta Lake

But some passengers pressurized boat operators to provide transport for the night’s journey.

“Boat operators told them it is too late and so they should wait for the next morning…but they were in a hurry”, Takyi said.

Some of the passengers managed to hire the service of a canoe owner who agreed to make the deadly voyage.

A woman, her brother and her child drowned. According to her husband, she was travelling with the family to the Northern region to visit their sick father.

The Yeji community is in mourning. Some residents wailed as dead bodies were retrieved.

The District Chief Executive of Yeji Emmanuel Opoku told Joy News, the residents failed to comply with a directive not to move on the lake after 6pm.

 “….because they were trying to sneak away, they were not using life jackets” he said, explaining that breaching transport regulations is making the transport on the Volta Lake difficult to manage.

A ferry that serves the area has broken down, the Alive FM reporter said.

This is at least the second tragedy  on the Volta Lake reported since the begining of the year.

One person drowned and several others left injured after a ferry crossing the Afram River on the Volta Lake sunk in January.