Indonesia, R: Officials in Indonesia said Sunday that they were searching for 25 people who went missing when a cargo boat sank in the Makassar Strait in South Sulawesi region.

According to Djunaidi, the chief of the provincial search and rescue organization, the boat drowned in heavy weather on Thursday morning while heading from a harbor in Makassar to Kalmas Island in Pangkep Regency. Djunaidi, like many Indonesians, solely goes by one name.

Seventeen individuals were eventually recovered, with some of them being rescued by two tugboats that were at sea at the time of the accident.

On Saturday, the search and rescue agency received new information about the sunken boat’s location, according to Djunaidi, and dispatched teams to the region. The search for the missing passengers included two motor boats and a search and rescue boat, as well as local fishing boats and Indonesian air force helicopters.

The sinking ship was initially thought to be a passenger ferry, but Djunaidi later explained that it was actually a cargo boat transporting building materials. Thirty-six passengers had requested a ride on the boat, which had a crew of six.

Ferry disasters are widespread in Indonesia, an archipelago of over 17,000 islands where ferries are frequently utilized as mode of transportation and safety restrictions can be lax.
In 2018, 167 people were killed when an overcrowded ferry carrying approximately 200 people collapsed in a deep volcanic crater lake in North Sumatra province.

In February 1999, an overcrowded passenger ship sank with 332 persons aboard, making it one of the country’s worst documented tragedies. There were barely 20 people who made it out alive.

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