Sunday, December 20, 2015 1:39 am
Indonesian rescuers have lost contact with a ship carrying more than 100 people and hit Saturday by a storm in South Sulawesi waters.
“We all lose contact with the boat now,” Andi Sunan, coordinator of the rescue operation told Xinhua on Saturday night from a rescue ship heading to the waters where the ship in distress was supposed to be.
The ship was en route from Kolaka in Southeast Sulawesi to Siwa in South Sulawesi, and it was hit by a storm around Bone Strait of South Sulawesi, about 12 miles from Siwa.
Spokesman for the national search and rescue office Zainul Tjahar said, “There is no report that the boat had capsized.”
The ship departed from Kolaka at 11:00 Central Indonesian Time (WITA), carrying 89 adults, 19 children and 10 crew members, according to Julius Adravida Barata, spokesperson of the Transportation Ministry.
“At 15:45 WITA, head of Kolaka port administration received a phone call from the boat crew that the boat encountered accident due to high waves,” the spokesperson said.
Barata also said the ongoing rescue operation has to be conducted in a careful way due to high waves.
Commissioner Frans Barung Mangera from South and West Sulawesi province police chapter said the ship had experienced a problem during the trip after it was hit by strong waves which severely damaged its body.
“Water flooded into the ship after the engine was broken apart,” Frans was quoted by local media as saying. He also denied reports that the ship had capsized.