An overloaded motorboat carrying about 150 passengers on a vast lake in Ghana has sunk, and 110 people are missing and feared dead, police said Monday.

Only 40 people are known to have survived the sinking Saturday afternoon on Lake Volta, said Akwasi Anyidoho, a police official in the region. He said hopes for finding more survivors were slim.

The motorboat was carrying passengers across the world's largest artificial lake to the mainland, where they were moving their homes after their island was designated a natural reserve.

The boat struck something in the water and sank, Anyidoho said by telephone. He said the boat had exceeded its legal passenger capacity.

In a vast continent with poor road and rail systems, water routes are often used to transport goods and people, and many Africans rely on rickety vessels. Few captains keep proper passenger manifests and the exact death tolls of many accidents are never known.

Some 1,863 died when the MS Joola capsized off the coast of Senegal in 2002, a deadlier accident than the Titanic. Only about 60 people survived.