Due to bad weather, Indonesia had to scale down the search operations on January 13 to save 230 missing people from the capsized ferry.
- 700-tonne ferry Teratai Prima, built in 1999, operated by private company PT Nur Budi sailed from Pare-Pare in South Sulawesi on January 10 at 1600 hours to Samarinda, Borneo island.
- Due to bad weather the ferry with 267 people sank around 0400 hours on January 11, three miles off the coast of Majene in 500 metres deep waters when most of the passengers were asleep. The ferry had eighteen crew including the skipper.
- The Indonesian Navy initiated land, sea, air operations to rescue the survivors. Four warships KRI Slamet Riyadi, KRI Untung Surapati, KRI Kakap and KRI Hasan Basri were deployed for rescue operations along with five boats from the Marine Police.
- So far only 35 people have been rescued and two bodies were found. Surprisingly, some survivors managed to remain afloat with bunches of floating bananas.
An investigation is underway as it is reported that the vessel was overloaded, inadequately equipped with lifeboats and ignored storm warnings. Australian transport experts are expected to help with the probe.
It may be noted that in Philippines just six months before, passenger ferry MV Princess of the Stars with more than 800 personnel capsized on June 21, 2008 due to bad weather.
Post in MarineBuzz on this day a year before:
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