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Search continues for Indonesia ferry survivors REMBANG - Indonesian navy ships on Monday renewed efforts to reach survivors of a ferry disaster who spent a third night on the open sea as continuing rough weather hindered the search for hundreds still missing. "Navy ships are still searching now. We're still trying the best we can," Central Java navy commander Colonel Yan Simamora told AFP.

Fishermen and search and rescue teams have thus far found around 200 survivors following the sinking of the ferry off the coast of Java late Friday with some 600 on board, officials said. The ill-fated ferry was en route from Kumai on Borneo island to the Javanese port city of Semarang when it sank. Initial investigations showed bad weather was likely to blame.

Eleven survivors and two bodies were brought in here before dawn Monday. Search and rescue workers had to carry the survivors who were too weak to walk off the fishing boat which picked them up. Other rescue efforts were focusing on three liferafts with around 30 to 40 survivors which were found by helicopters on Sunday.

Transport Minister Hatta Radjasa told ElShinta radio the survivors seemed healthy and had waved to the helicopters. But Simamora said bad weather had made it impossible to pick them up Sunday. "We did try to evacuate them by air, but the weather did not permit us to do so as the waves were up to four metres high and it was raining heavily," he told ElShinta, adding that food and drinks had been dropped to them.

Some 177 survivors had been rescued, the official Antara news agency quoted the transport ministry as saying late Saturday. But Radjasa later said 157 had been saved, with 125 already ashore and others being brought in on ships. Navy ships were also bringing in about 60 bodies to the port of Rembang in Central Java, ElShinta reported.

Bad weather and rough seas

Warships, fishing vessels and helicopters have braved continuing bad weather and rough seas to scour the waters off the north coast of Java since the "Senopati Nusantara" (Archipelago Commander) sank. Meteorologists warned the bad weather would continue for the next few days. "The weather is still not conducive for sailing. We expect waves as high as two to four metres (six to 12 feet) in north Java, east Java and in central Java," said Arif Triono from the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency in Surabaya, East Java.

"Besides high waves in these areas, we also expect heavy and continuous rains with strong winds up to 80 kilometres (50 miles) per hour," he told AFP. Preliminary investigations showed bad weather was to blame for the accident, officials said as they continued to collect data. "Our investigation so far shows that bad weather coupled with high and heavy waves had caused the ferry to sink," said Setio Rahardjo, head of the National Committee on Transportation Safety.

"We have not had evidence of a collision or any carelessness by the Senopati," Antara quoted him as saying. The vessel was carrying 542 passengers and 57 crew when it sank. It was licensed to carry 850.

01 January 2007: A victim of a ferry sinking walks down the gangplank from a Korean tanker in Tuban port, in East Java province. More survivors from an Indonesian ferry sinking were being brought ashore on Monday, but hundreds were still missing and bodies were scattered for miles on beaches along Java's coastline.
01 January 2007: A victim of a ferry sinking walks down the gangplank from a Korean tanker in Tuban port, in East Java province. More survivors from an Indonesian ferry sinking were being brought ashore on Monday, but hundreds were still missing and bodies were scattered for miles on beaches along Java's coastline.



Link to related event Related event:
Ferry sinks off Java coast

Related blog entries (category 'Accidents') Related blog entries (category 'Accidents'):
01 January 2007 · More saved, hundreds missing after Indonesia ferry sinks
01 January 2007 · 30 victims of Senopati Nusantara Ferry recovered
31 December 2006 · 122 survivors of ill-fated MV Senopati rescued
31 December 2006 · Minister: Ill-fated KM Senopati was still sea-worthy
30 December 2006 · Nearly 70 rescued from sinking ship north of Java


Posted in Accidents @ 01 January 2007 11:30 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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