An overloaded fishing boat, the KM Kasih 25, carrying 29 passengers and crew capsized in Pukuafu Strait in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), leaving three people dead and seven others missing.
Nearby vessels recovered the bodies of two children and have rescued 19 people from choppy waters, said Emi Frizer, a local Search and Rescue Agency official.
According to the authorities, the vessel departed from Tablolong in Kupang regency to Papela in Rote Ndao regency on Sunday (July 5).
“It sank after being struck by waves in Pukuafu Strait,” Rote Ndao Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Bambang Hari Wibowo said on Monday. Meanwhile, three other passengers — including an 11-month-old infant died in the accident.
The wooden boat was carrying 16 passengers and 12 fishermen when it capsized in Pukuafu Strait after being hit by a 2-meter (6.5-foot) wave and strong wind, Frizer said. The boat was designed for fishing for just 15 people but the boat captain had carried passengers without permission from the head of the local port.
Search efforts continued on Wednesday to locate five more passengers of Motor Vessel Kasih 25, who went missing after the boat capsized on July 5, 2020 in Fukuafu waters, off Kupang district, East Nusa Tenggara.
On Tuesday, local rescue workers had found the body of a female passenger who was on board the ill-fated vessel when it capsized. The body was evacuated to the East Nusa Tenggara police hospital for a post-mortem examination, he said.
As of Wednesday, rescue workers had located 23 victims, four of whom were found dead.”Now, five more still remain missing,” Frizer said. In the absence of a manifest, the exact number of people on board the ship could not be ascertained, he added.