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Boat Capsize in Western Indonesia: Death Toll at 11, 9 Still Missing


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A speedboat carrying 78 passengers sank in rough seas off the coast of western Indonesia, prompting a search and rescue mission for nine people unaccounted for during the early hours of Friday.

Rescuers have recovered 11 bodies, mostly women and children, and rescued 58 people so far, many unconscious after drifting in choppy waters for hours, said Nyoman Sidhakarya, head of the Pekanbaru Search and Rescue Agency.

Local television footage showed people standing on an overturned boat trying to reach a fishing boat packed with survivors.

Sedacaria said the Evelyn Calista 01 plane was carrying 72 passengers, most of whom had returned from visits to their hometowns to celebrate Eid al-Fitr with their families, and six crew members.

The boat sank on Thursday afternoon about three hours after leaving port in Tempelhan, a town in Indragiri Hillire regency in Riau province. It was bound for the neighboring city of Tanjung Pinang in the Riau chain of islands, a journey of 200 km (124 mi).

The cause of the sinking is still under investigation, said local police chief Nourhayat, but some survivors told authorities that the boat suddenly swayed and capsized after hitting a heavy log while sailing in strong winds.

Two tugboats and two port boats have been searching for the missing people since Thursday night, battling high waves in the night darkness, said Nourhayat, who goes by one name, adding that a tugboat pulled the overturned boat to a port before dark on Thursday. Facilitate research efforts.

Boat tragedies are common in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, where ferries are often used as transport bases and safety can lapse.

In 2018, an overcrowded ferry with about 200 people on board sank in a deep volcanic lake in North Sumatra province, killing 167 people.

In one of the worst disasters on record in the country, an overcrowded passenger liner sank in February 1999 with 332 people on board. There were only 20 survivors.

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