Gulf Today

11 Indonesian­s survive days in sea after boat capsizes


JAKARTA: Eleven Indonesian fishermen survived ater three days at sea clinging to their capsized boat, rescuers said on Wednesday as they searched for at least 22 crew still missing ater the weekend incident that let two dead.

The boat with at least 35 crew capsized on Saturday in waters off the remote Selayar Islands in South Sulawesi Province before the 11 were found stranded on two separate atolls ater days floating in the sea.

Their boat capsized in bad weather during Indonesia’s rainy season, according to the local search and rescue agency.

“They had been floating in the sea for three days, they were carried away by the current to Selayar waters,” local government official Andi Caco Amras told on Wednesday.

The two victims were found on separate islands. The fishing boat departed from a North Jakarta port on March 3 to Lombok Island in West Nusa Tenggara Province.

The navy and rescue volunteers were helping with the search efforts.

“The joint team will conduct a search and rescue operation and they have departed... this morning,” local search and rescue official Andi Raswan told AFP.

He said it would take rescuers five hours to reach the location.

The survivors were found ater local fishermen spoted them and alerted authoritie­s, state news agency Antara reported.

Amras told that survivors said they held out for three days at sea by wearing life jackets and tying themselves to the boat.

“They were carried away along with the boat to the Selayar islands. The boat was turned over, the botom was at the top,” said the official.

The vessel of 93 gross tons was carrying “equipment to catch fish such as fish traps, nets, rocks, ropes, coconut leaves and fishing rods,” he said.

Amras said 35 people were on the boat with 22 missing while the rescue agency gave a higher toll of 37 and 24 missing. It is common in Indonesia for the number of actual passengers on a boat to differ from the manifest.

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