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23 rescued, scores missing as waves sink Indonesian boat

missing Indonesian boatRescuers have pulled out at least 23 survivors and two dead from a passenger boat that sank in central Indonesia after being buffeted by high waves, and were battling bad weather Sunday to reach scores of others still missing.

The fibreglass boat was on its way from Kolaka to Siwa, towns on Sulawesi Island, with 110 passengers and 12 crew members when it was caught in waves more than three meters high during stormy weather this afternoon, said Roki Asikin, head of the search and rescue agency in Makassar, the provincial capital of South Sulawesi.

Six rescue boats and ships were sent from Kendari and Makassar after they received a distress call from the crew who reported that the vessel was starting to take on water about 21 kilometres southeast of Siwa port in Wajo district, Asikin said adding that the passengers included 14 children.
Earlier on Sunday, fishermen found four people, including a woman and a child wearing life jackets. They told authorities that their boat sank hours after being hit by high waves.

Transportation Ministry spokesman Julius Barata said that 21 others were found later by another boat of the same company as the sunken ferry.
“As per the latest report, out of 25, 23 people survived and two deaths have been discovered,” Barata said.

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