Rescue teams search for survivors of Indonesian ferry disaster in torrid weather

Rescue teams search for survivors of Indonesian ferry disaster in torrid weather

An estimated 18 people were rescued and one passenger was confirmed dead after the ferry sank on Monday evening when it was overcome by rough weather.

Police said in a statement that 18 people were rescued and one body was recovered, unchanged from figures released by disaster and police officials almost a day earlier on Monday evening.

"Our joint teams moved out at 7am", said Budiawan, head of the search and rescue agency in the nearby city of Medan, adding that the teams would work for as long as the weather allowed.

The 1,145-square kilometre lake, formed out of an ancient super volcano, is a popular sightseeing destination.

Relatives have congregated at major ferry docks on the lake, waiting for news about their missing loved ones.

The ferry was believed to be operating illegally, with no manifest or passenger tickets.

Nugroho said the boat sank at about 5:30 p.m.as it sailed from the mainland to an island.

Rescue teams search for survivors of Indonesian ferry disaster in torrid weather
Rescue teams search for survivors of Indonesian ferry disaster in torrid weather

Two other ferries and a wooden boat were involved in the rescue effort.

"I was desperate. I was scared to death".

At least one person died after a ferry containing around 80 passengers sank in Lake Toba in Indonesia's North Sumatra province yesterday, a disaster agency official said.

A woman prays for her son, a passenger on the KM Sinar Bangun ferry which sank yesterday in Lake Toba, in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia June 19, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. "I'm afraid my family is dead", Juwita Sumbayak, a survivor said, The Age reported.

Maher Tamba, an official with the local disaster agency, said at least half a dozen vessels searched for survivors since Monday night.

This is the peak tourist season in Muslim-majority Indonesia, with millions of people travelling for the Islamic festival of Eid.

The sinking is the latest in a string of deadly maritime accidents in the vast Indonesian archipelago, which relies heavily on boats to ferry people around its 17,000 islands but has a poor safety record.

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