Jakarta – Rescue workers were searching for nine people missing after their boat sank off the easternmost Indonesian province of Papua. Eight survivors were rescued in the accident, local media reports said Thursday.
The Ratna Utama vessel, with 17 people on board, reportedly sank Wednesday in rough seas off the Papua district of Merauke.
Eight of the people on board the vessel were rescued by another motorized vessel and they were rushed to hospital in Merauke, the state-run Antara news agency quoted Papua police spokesman Senior Commissioner Riyanto as saying.
Riyanto said that the boat was on its way to Kepi of Papua’s Mappi regency, when it sank after hitting coral east of Habe Isle. It was the latest sea accident in Indonesia in recent months.
Indonesia is an archipelago nation of more than 17,000 islands. Ferries provide popular and cheap transportation for the country’s 230 million people, but safety standards are often ignored and overloading is common.