At Least 18 Dead After a Ferry Sinks Near the Indonesian Island of Java

By ,   June 18, 2019 ,   Accidents

The death toll from a sinking Indonesian ferryboat rose to 18, authorities said on Tuesday, June 18, the latest maritime tragedy to hit the archipelago nation.

The overloaded passenger ship was carrying 60+ people when it overturned on Monday, June 17, in rough seas close to Madura island, off Java Island's north coast.

Port of Pulau Madura Island (Sumenep, Indonesia)

Indonesia's search and rescue agency reported 18 dead (including children) and 39 survivors. A fleet of a rescue ship, plane, and local fishing boats were searching the waters for at least 4 others still missing, authorities announced.

Local reports suggested that there could be more victims, not listed on the official manifest, as it's suspected the boat was overloaded when it was hit by a large wave, overturned and sank.

The 32-foot (10-meter) long traditional ship was found by fishermen shortly after it was swamped.

Marine accidents are common in the region that has 17,000+ islands. Many people use ferries and smaller boats for transportation despite poor safety standards.