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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 April 2006, 07:35 GMT 08:35 UK
Indonesian passenger ferry sinks
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All but one of 60 people on board a ferry that sank off Indonesia's east coast have survived, officials say.

The boat went down in bad weather close to Rote Island, 2,000km (1,250 miles) east of Jakarta, on Monday evening.

Ships and an aeroplane joined rescue efforts amid initial reports that up to 100 people may have been on board.

Accidents at sea are not uncommon in Indonesia. A ferry sank in the same waters in February with the loss of as many as 40 lives.

Swam ashore

The ferry's captain told the authorities that the boat had been carrying 54 passengers and six crew when it sank.

By mid-afternoon on Tuesday, 59 people had been able to swim ashore or were picked up by rescuers, port official Piter Fina said.

Police spokesman, Martin Raja, of nearby Kupang in West Timor, said 19 survivors had been taken to hospital on Rote Island.

Ferries are a common means of transport between Indonesia's many islands, but overcrowding often leads to accidents.

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




SEE ALSO:
Indonesia hunts for ferry missing
02 Feb 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Scores saved from Indonesia ferry
01 Feb 06 |  Asia-Pacific
Fears mount over Indonesia ferry
11 Jul 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Over 20 killed on Indonesia ferry
19 Mar 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Ferry sinks in central Indonesia
04 Nov 02 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Indonesia
21 Dec 05 |  Country profiles


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