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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 February 2006, 07:16 GMT
Scores saved from Indonesia ferry
Rescuers have pulled at least 113 people alive from heavy seas in eastern Indonesia after a ferry sank.

The boat was travelling from the port of Kupang to Rote island, 2,000km (1,250 miles) from Jakarta, when it lost radio contact with the shore.

Navy vessels and an air force plane were searching for more survivors.

But officials were unclear how many people were on board the ferry, with reports saying one person was dead and more than 30 might still be missing.

The ferry's manifest showed 102 passengers and crew were on board the boat, but one official said the real number was higher.

Ferries are the common means of transport in Indonesia, but overcrowding has often led to accidents.

Safety standards are often not enforced, meaning boats are in poor condition and carry more passengers than regulations allow.

Life jackets

The ferry left Kupang on the western side of Timor island on Tuesday evening for the four-hour voyage to Rote island.

But about two hours into the crossing, the boat started to experience engine trouble in rough seas, with waves reportedly up to 3m (10 feet) high.

The ferry tried to turn back for Kupang, but its engine then failed completely. It then capsized in high seas.

The survivors found so far were rescued by one of the navy ships searching the area.

"We have been told they survived because they were wearing life jackets," a police sergeant on Rote island told the Associated Press news agency.

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19 Mar 04 |  Asia-Pacific
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11 Jul 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Indonesia
21 Dec 05 |  Country profiles

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