Indonesia stops search for sunken boat victims, confirms 66 dead, 12 missing

Jakarta, Dec 30 (IANS) Indonesia on Tuesday stopped the search and rescue operation for victims of a boat that capsized ten days ago, while confirming 66 people dead and 12 others still missing.

“The operation was closed at 16:00 p.m. local time,” Zainul Tjahar, spokesman of the national search and rescue office, told Xinhua.

A total of 40 people have been saved, with 66 others dead and 12 missing, he said, adding that the authorities had extended the operation by three days.

The ill-fated boat, KM. Marina Baru 02B, sank near Southeast Sulawesi on December 19, with 118 people on board.

According to survivors, the boat capsized after being hit by storm and some people may still be trapped inside the boat.

“The front part of the boat was filled with water and the bow went down into the sea first,” said Roki Asikin, head of the search and rescue office in South Sulawesi province.

“Besides, the boat was also suffering from engine failure,” Roki added.

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