MACASSAR STRAIT, Indonesia ( Associated Press) — Rescuers in Indonesia were searching for 25 people missing after a cargo ship capsized in the Makassar Strait in South Sulawesi province, authorities said Sunday.
A total of 42 people were on the boat when it capsized in bad weather on Thursday as it headed from a seaport in Makassar to Kalmas Island in Pangkep Regency, said Djunaidi, who is the head of the ship. of the National Agency for Search and Rescue of South Sulawesi. Like many Indonesians, Djunaidi uses only one name.
Subsequently, 17 people were rescued, some of them by two tugboats that were in the sea at the time of the incident.
Djunaidi said the search and rescue agency received new information on the location of the sunken ship on Saturday and sent teams to the area. Two motorized boats and a search and rescue vessel, along with local drifters and Indonesian air force helicopters, were involved in the search for the missing passengers.
The sunken ship was initially said to be a passenger ferry, but Djunaidi later clarified that it was a cargo ship carrying construction materials. Thirty-six passengers had asked to be transported favorably on the ship, which had six crew members.
Such tragedies are common in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, where ferries are heavily used and there are potential shortcomings in the enforcement of transportation and safety regulations.
In 2018, an overloaded ferry carrying 200 people sank into a deep volcanic crater lake in North Sumatra province, killing 167 people.
In one of the country’s worst disasters, an overloaded ship with 332 passengers sank in February 1999. There were only 20 survivors.