June 18, 2019 / 7:48 AM / 4 months ago

Indonesia says 17 dead after motorboat sinks in bad weather

Survivors from the boat that sank in the sea between Sapudi and Gili islands receive treatment at Dungkek health center in Sumenep, East Java province, Indonesia, June 17, 2019 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Veros/ via REUTERS

JAKARTA (Reuters) - At least 17 people, including four children, died after a motorboat sank in choppy waters off the Indonesian island of Java, a government official said on Tuesday.

The 10-metre (33 ft) wooden vessel with 57 people on board was hit by high waves off Sumenep in East Java province on Monday, said Tholib, a spokesman for the search and rescue agency.

Rescue teams saved 39 passengers and are searching for one missing person, he added.

Indonesia, a vast archipelago, has a patchy transportation safety record, with frequent ferry accidents often caused by overcrowding.

Last year, an overcrowded ferry with more than 200 passengers sank in Lake Toba in Sumatra. Eighteen people survived and nearly 200 are thought to have drowned in one of the world’s deepest volcanic lakes.

Reporting by Tabita Diela; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor and Darren Schuettler

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