Three people – two female dancers and one man – Sunday died at Pamvura Lodge in Mvurwi at a beach party after the boat they were cruising in capsized.
The female dancers belonged to Phenomenal Dancers, a Harare outfit. Police in Mvurwi confirmed the death of the three but said names were being withheld pending notification of their next of kin.
It is believed that the three were in a party of seven people who boarded the boat, with a carrying capacity of 350kg.
Eyewitnesses told NewsDay last night that the engine of the boat suddenly stalled in the middle of the water, and when it was restarted it is suspected that the vessel hit some unknown object and eventually capsized.
Four people managed to swim to safety, while the male victim died while trying to rescue the female dancers who could not swim.
By last night, owners of the lodge were in Harare trying to seek help from the Police Sub- Aqua Unit to retrieve the bodies of the dancers, which were still trapped under water.
The beach party is said to have begun last Friday and was set to end today but was abruptly stopped after the accident.
An eyewitness said one man tried to rescue the girls but failed, leading to him drowning together with the dancers.
Pamvura Lodge is reportedly a popular joint, and the dancers were entertaining patrons who were paying to dance with them in the water.
Narrating how the tragedy unfolded, an eyewitness said people who were apparently enjoying the party saw some movement in the water.
It is reported that seven people, including the now deceased three, got onto the boat to try to get closer and figure out what the object moving about in the water was. “When the boat’s engine was turned on, it shook heavily and the boat overturned,” the eyewitness said.
“As a result, the seven were thrown to one side and slipped into the water. Three drowned while four of them managed to swim to safety,” said the eyewitness.
Eyewitnesses blamed the death of the three on slow reaction of the people present. “Had there been quick reaction, the girls would have been saved,” he said.
One person is said to have dived in to rescue the two but it was too late as the others had lost strength and could not hold on.
When NewsDay visited the scene of the accident, the bodies were yet to be retrieved.