The Jakarta Post
A joint search and rescue team has entered its fifth day of searching for a missing passenger of the Arista boat that sank on Wednesday off the coast of Makassar, South Sulawesi.
“We will continue the search for another seven days,” said Amiruddin, the head of SAR Makassar.
Fifty-five passengers survived the incident, 17 died and one is missing.
The boat left Paotere Harbor in Makassar on Wednesday afternoon for a 17-kilometer journey to the small island of Lampo Barrang while carrying 73 passengers, several motorcycles and luggage.
Most of the passengers were bringing goods from Makassar for the Idul Fitri holiday and some were traveling with children.
The boat was hit by a wave and capsized two kilometers from the shore.
Some passengers swam to safety while others were rescued by passing fishing boats or the SAR team.
The boat’s captain, Daeng Kila, stated that the boat capsized as a result of strong waves and wind.
However, Makassar Seaport Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Aris Bachtiar said the boat sank because it was overcrowded. “The ship already had 73 passengers with several motorcycles and a lot of goods,” said Aris.
He said the weather was pleasant that day and claimed the captain was not aware of how much luggage and how many passengers were on his boat. The boat was not equipped with life vests.
The police named Daeng Kila a suspect due to his alleged negligence. (nor)