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At least 30 bodies found from sunken ferry JAKARTA - The death toll in the sinking of a ferry off eastern Indonesia jumped to 30 Friday after rescue workers pulled more than 20 more bodies from the sea, officials said. "We found a total of 30 bodies in the sea and have managed to evacuate at least 125 survivors," Navy Colonel Agus Susilo, chief coordinator for the search and rescue team, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

After two days of heavy rains, high winds and 3-meter-high swells, clear weather on Friday aided rescue workers in their searches and allowed them to find four more survivors as well.The latest rescue efforts have brought the number of survivors from Tuesday night's accident to 125, with "at least 77 people still reported missing," Agus said.

The new figures would put the total number of passengers and crew on the vessel at more than 230 - far higher than the number reported on the ship's manifest and previously believed to be onboard by officials. The manifest showed the vessel was carrying 138 people, but it is normal for Indonesian ferries to carry more passengers than are listed because some passengers board at the last minute without tickets.

"There are always vendors and 'black' passengers who pay on board, and of course, they are not listed in the manifest," Agus said. Rescue workers, assisted by a helicopter and a number of boats, including three naval vessels, continued their search for the missing, who were feared drowned after nearly 72 hours floating in rough seas. "We expect to pull out more bodies than survivors after 48 hours," Agus said. "It's very tough to survive on the sea."

The ferry was en route from Kupang, about 1,900 kilometers east of Jakarta, to nearby Rote island when it sank in rough waters. About two hours into the planned five-hour voyage, the ferry's captain reported to port authorities that the vessel was turning back because of engine problems. Radio communications with the ferry were cut soon afterward.


Related blog entry (category 'Accidents') Related blog entry (category 'Accidents'):
01 February 2006 · Indonesia ferry sinks in heavy seas, scores rescued


Posted in Accidents @ 03 February 2006 10:29 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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