The Jakarta Post
Two people died in an accident involving a boat carrying 20 students and researchers from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) and University of Washington in Muara Binuangeun waters, Banten, on Friday
IPB rector Arif Satria said on Saturday that the team had been on a field trip to Tinjil Island and was to return to Bogor. The incident took place around 2 p.m. as the boat headed to Binuangeun in Banten.
The students, researchers and two boat crew members, meanwhile, saved themselves in the incident. The deceased victims, Atiah and Emah, were locals who cooked meals for the students and researchers during the field trip.
“We’ve visited late Atiah and Emah’s families. We’re very grateful for their help and support throughout our field trip to Tinjil Island,” Arif said, noting that the field trip was initiated by IPB’s Primate Research Center (PSSP).
According to the information he had gathered, Arif said all passengers had been wearing life vests before the incident occurred. However, some of them lost their life vests when the boat was hit by strong waves.
After being rescued by residents, the students, researchers and crew members were admitted to Muara Binuangeun health center to receive medical treatment.
PSSP head Huda S. Darusman said the field trip was aimed at spreading knowledge about primates in their natural habitat. The students were also expected to learn about primate conservation and issues related to research methods.
Tinjil Island is a natural habitat and breeding ground for long-tailed macaques. IPB has sent long-tailed monkeys from other provinces to breed there. The monkeys had been sent to labs for research on primates, including to the United States. The practice, however, stopped in 2012.
Tinjil has become popular among researchers as it is known as a natural breeding ground. (vla)