At least eight dead af­ter boat cap­sizes

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

JAKARTA, In­done­sia — At least eight peo­ple in­clud­ing a tod­dler died and two Ger­man tourists were among those res­cued af­ter a speed­boat cap­sized off the coast of Bor­neo on Tues­day.

Wit­nesses de­scribed pas­sen­gers jump­ing into the wa­ter without life vests as the boat — which was car­ry­ing 51 peo­ple — cap­sized out­side a busy In­done­sian port, while oth­ers on board are feared to be trapped in­side the boat, res­cue of­fi­cials said.

“The boat had only been sail­ing for about 10 min­utes when it was hit by a wave. It started to tilt and cap­sized, when it was still very close to the port” said Oc­ta­vianto, spokesman of the lo­cal search and res­cue agency, who like many In­done­sians go by one name.

Eight peo­ple in­clud­ing a two-year-old child have been found dead, while 22 other peo­ple — in­clud­ing a Ger­man man and wo­man — were res­cued alive and taken to hos­pi­tal for treat­ment, he said.

Navy per­son­nel have been dis­patched to search for the re­main­ing pas­sen­gers, said Oc­ta­vianto. How­ever, pas­sen­ger man­i­fests in the re­gion of­ten do not record all of those on board.

The ac­ci­dent oc­curred as the boat left Tarakan in North Bor­neo prov­ince on Tues­day morn­ing to Tan­jung Selor.

“Wit­nesses said the sea was quiet when the boat cap­sized so I don’t think the ac­ci­dent was due to rough seas,” said Oc­ta­vianto.

“How­ever, the port was very busy and the boat traf­fic was quite high at that time, which may have trig­gered the waves.”

It is the lat­est fa­tal boat ac­ci­dent in the vast In­done­sian ar­chi­pel­ago, which re­lies heav­ily on boats to ferry peo­ple around its 17,000 is­lands.

At least 23 peo­ple died when a tourist boat from Jakarta car­ry­ing about 250 lo­cal hol­i­day­mak­ers to cel­e­brate the New Year on nearby Tidung is­land burst into flames.


A wo­man wades through a road flooded by heavy rain in Ahmed­abad, In­dia, on Mon­day. Floods have forced more than 25,000 peo­ple to flee their homes in Gu­jarat and Ra­jasthan.

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