Jakarta: A ferry sank in a storm in remote eastern Indonesia, killing at least seven people and leaving 27 missing, a port official said on Monday.
The 13-meter speed boat sank on Wednesday in a storm off the Aru islands, about 3,000 kilometres east of the capital, Jakarta. More than 20 onboard were Chinese workers, the state news agency Antara reported.
The boat was carrying 35 crew and passengers on an inter-island trip when it capsized in high waves, port head Billy Picarima said today.
A Chinese passenger was rescued by fishermen shortly after the accident, first reported by authorities yesterday.
The boat`s captain reportedly ignored a storm warning, but government transportation authorities could not be reached for comment today.
Picarima said rescuers recovered seven bodies and continued to search for the missing.
Solihin, who like many Indonesians goes by only one name, accused the captain and crew of the speedboat of ignoring the ban, and sailing out through an unsupervised dock.
He added that the speedboat`s departure was not reported to the harbour master.
Rescue workers joined by local fishermen were continuing their search for the missing people, Bram Amahoru of the Dobo harbour master`s office said on Monday.
Deadly sea accidents are common in Indonesia, the world`s largest archipelago nation, in large part due to the lax enforcement of safety regulations.
(With Agencies` inputs)