40 more bodies recovered in Indonesian boat accident, death toll reaches 63

By APindonesia boat incident.jpg

MAKASSAR: Rescuers recovered 40 more bodies on Thursday from waters in central Indonesia, raising the confirmed death toll from the weekend sinking of a passenger boat to 63. Fifteen people are still missing.

The Marina Baru 2B, carrying 118 passengers and crewmen, sank in the Gulf of Bone on Saturday while on its way from Kolaka in Southeast Sulawesi province to Siwa town in South Sulawesi province.

The fiberglass ferry reportedly was overwhelmed by waves more than 3 meters (10 feet) high during stormy weather.

Most of the survivors were pulled out Sunday while the last one was the boat’s captain, who was found Monday snagged on a fishing platform, said Alamsyah, who uses a single name.

Operational chief of South Sulawesi’s Search and Rescue Agency Deden Ridwansyah said all but one of the bodies recovered Thursday were found intact.

Ridwansyah said the search for the remaining 15 missing would be carried out until Saturday.

Boats are a popular form of transportation in Indonesia’s 17,000 islands, but overcrowding and poor safety enforcement make accidents common.

The head of the local disaster mitigation agency, Alamsyah, revised the number of survivors to 40, saying one person had been counted twice.

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