Survivors said they boarded the private boat as the boats of the Tourism Department were not available.
This incident comes after 22 people died after a boat capsized on Yamuna River in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat. The boat belonging to private operator Simple Water Sports, was bringing tourists from Bhavani Island, a popular tourist spot, to Pavitra Sangamam near Ferry on the outskirts of Vijayawada, to participate in a religious programme on the occasion of Telugus' auspicious Kartheeka Masam.
According to local media reports, there were an estimated 30 to 40 tourists on board at the time of the incident, and nearly all of them were members of the Ongole Walkers Club. As many as 15 people were either rescued by local fishermen or swam to safety.
Around 20 of the roughly 35 people on the boat were rescued and search operations were continuing, India's National Disaster Response Force said on Twitter.
Chinnarajappa said 32 members of the Ongole Walkers' Club were among those on board.
Later, 16 bodies were fished out of the river.
Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu expressed shock over the incident and directed the authorities to intensify rescue operations.
China Rajappa, who was supervising rescue operations at the accident spot, announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of the deceased. Eleven people have been rescued, and the whereabouts of the others is not known.