France Press agency , Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2022 at 07:28
Indonesian rescue services are trying Wednesday to free a ferry carrying more than 800 people in shallow waters off the southernmost province, an Indonesian official said.
KM Sirimau has been stranded for two days with 784 passengers and 55 crew members after being stranded while crossing 184 km in the Lesser Sunda Islands Province (in the Indonesian region of East Nusa Tenggara).
Since the ferry does not appear to be about to sink, the rescue has so far included an attempt to free it to allow it to continue its journey without carrying out evacuations.
But the head of search and rescue in Momiri town, Mr. Sudayana, told Kompas TV that efforts to get the stuck ferry out using the tugboat had so far been unsuccessful.
Mr. Sadiana said authorities were waiting for a locomotive sent by general freighter PT Bellini to arrive in the area on Thursday, and if these new attempts ended in failure, all passengers would be evacuated.
“It is only possible to withdraw at high tide,” he added.
He said all passengers are fine.
Accidents at sea are frequent in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, whose residents rely on ferries and other boats to travel despite inadequate safety standards.
In 2018, about 160 people died when a ferry sank in one of the world’s deepest lakes on the island of Sumatra.
More than 300 people drowned in a ferry sinking between Sulawesi and Borneo in 2009.
“Unapologetic pop culture trailblazer. Freelance troublemaker. Food guru. Alcohol fanatic. Gamer. Explorer. Thinker.”