16 dead, two still missing after Indonesian boat sinks off Makassar

More than 20 million people leave cities for hometowns and villages

Source: AsiaOne


JAKARTA – Two people are still missing after 16 others died when a boat carrying passengers home for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri holiday capsized and sank off Makassar on Wednesday (June 13).

Search and rescue operations on Thursday (June 14) came up empty but will continue on Friday, which is Eid al-Fitr (Hari Raya Aidilfitri), according to a senior officer.

“Our search today leads to no avail. We will continue our operations to find the two missing tomorrow morning,” Mr Amiruddin, who heads the South Sulawesi branch of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), told The Straits Times on Thursday.

The missing are a four-year-old girl and a 28-year-old woman.

The vessel, a traditional wooden longboat known locally as a jolloro, left Paotere port in Makassar on Wednesday afternoon en route to the resort island of Barrang Lompo, 15km north-west of the city, when it hit a big wave and capsized amid bad weather.

Mr Amiruddin’s officers have also found that the boat was carrying 73 passengers when it sank and not 45 as had been estimated.

This was because those who managed to make it to shore did not report to the police, he said. The latest information was based on reports from community units, he added.

Among the 16 dead were a one-year-old infant and four children aged four.

Fifteen have already been buried, Mr Amiruddin said.

Earlier media reports quoted Makassar police chief Aris Bachtiar as saying that the boat was overloaded.

In another incident, a speedboat carrying 30 people sank off South Sumatra, killing at least two, according to news agency reports.

Nearly 32 million Indonesians have been making their way back to their home towns by land, sea and air, which is part of the annual Hari Raya exodus, according to data from the Transportation Ministry.

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