Jakarta ferry capsizes leaving 11 dead and one missing near Sumatra Island

Image courtesy of Bangkok Post

At least 11 individuals have tragically lost their lives, and another is currently missing after a ferry accident occurred off the eastern coast of Sumatra Island in Indonesia. The national search and rescue agency has disclosed this information as they continue their search operation.

The ferry involved in the accident was transporting approximately 74 passengers to the small island of Tanjung Pinang located in proximity to Singapore. The incident is believed to have occurred about 30 minutes after the vessel had left the harbour, with a suspected collision with a floating log being the cause of the unfortunate event.

As the search and rescue operation for the missing individual is ongoing, the agency has also been receiving reports from eyewitnesses who were present at the scene of the accident. The exact circumstances leading to the incident are still being investigated, and there may be further updates that provide a clearer understanding of how the tragedy unfolded, reports Bangkok Post.

Ferry accidents are not uncommon in Indonesia, which consists of over 17,000 islands that rely heavily on water-based transportation for commuting and trading purposes. In a vast nation with such a large archipelago, ferries provide a critical service in connecting communities across numerous islands.

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However, the country has seen numerous maritime accidents throughout the years, with overcrowded vessels and poor maintenance of boats being cited as some of the leading causes. Additionally, Indonesia’s vast number of islands makes providing and regulating strict safety standards a difficult task for authorities.

One of the worst ferry disasters in recent history occurred in 2009 when close to 300 people perished after a ferry sank off the coast of the remote island of Sulawesi. There have been other such incidents stretching back decades, like the tragedy in 1996 when more than 200 lives were lost due to a ferry sinking in the Java Sea.

Despite these continued incidents within the country, there have been gradual improvements to maritime regulations, overall surveillance, and vessel maintenance standards. Nevertheless, Indonesia faces a continuous challenge in anticipating accidents, particularly given the rapidly developing economic demands and transportation needs of the nation.

As the situation following this recent ferry accident unfolds, local authorities remain focused on discovering further details about the incident, locating the missing person, and providing support to the affected individuals and communities.

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With a Bachelor's Degree in English, Jenn has plenty of experience writing and editing on different topics. After spending many years teaching English in Thailand, Jenn has come to love writing about Thai culture and the experience of being an ex-pat in Thailand. During long holidays, she travels to North of Thailand just to have Khao Soi!

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