An Indonesian ferry carrying 800+ people that had run aground was dislodged on Thursday, May 19, and taken safely to dock at the nearby port, officials announced.
KM Sirimau, carrying a total of 784 passengers and 55 crew, became stuck on Tuesday, May 17, in shallow waters in the country's East Nusa Tenggara province.
Efforts to free the vessel succeeded and Sirimau was dislodged at noon after a tugboat was sent by state-owned shipping company PT Pelni and arrived to help, according to the head of local naval base Dwi Yoga.
The ferry docked in port Lewoleba on Pulau Lembata Island (Lamalera, East Nusa Tenggara Indonesia) for checks 2 hours after it was freed. All passengers were in good health.
KM Sirimau will later leave the port to continue her journey to Maumere on Pulau Flores Island (Larantuka-Ende-Maumere, East Nusa Tenggara Indonesia), the final destination of most travelers.
Passengers became worried after being stuck on board for 2 days.
The military boarded the vessel Thursday morning to distribute water/snacks to the people, including kids and the elderly.
Before towing the ferry, rescuers waited for the tide to rise.
Marine accidents are quite common in Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,000+ islands, where people rely on ferries/other boats to travel in spite of poor safety standards.
In 2018, ~160 people drowned when a ferry sank into one of the world's deepest lakes on Sumatra island.