Tuesday, December 20, 2011

13 survivors from boat that sank off Indonesia found adrift at sea - 20th Dec 2011

LinkThirteen people left adrift off the coast of Indonesia after their boat sank have been rescued by a passing coal freighter, the head of the local search and rescue agency said Tuesday.

The number of survivors found from the boat, which went down over the weekend, now stands at 49 -- a fraction of the 218 to 248 people estimated to have been on board.

Disaster management officials have said that most of those on board the ill-fated vessel, which was headed for Australia, were asylum-seekers from Middle Eastern countries, including Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 13 people rescued by the coal freighter had been floating out at sea for two days, holding on to debris or whatever they could find, said Sutrisno, the head of the East Java Search and Rescue Agency who like many Indonesians uses only one name.

The survivors, who were found Monday, are in good condition, he said.

Hopes for recovering any remaining passengers are fading, though. The rest of those who were on board the boat missing and feared dead, Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman of the National Disaster Management Agency, said Monday. Read More