Seventeen crewmembers of a freighter have been declared missing after being shipwrecked off the eastern coast of the Indonesian island of Celebes, while a survivor was rescued after four days adrift, official sources reported today.
The survivor was found on Tuesday by another boat in waters of the province of Central Celebes and was transferred to a hospital where he is receiving treatment, as explained to the personnel of the Agency of Search and Rescue of the town of Palu (Basarnas).
Before his rescue, the Indonesian sailor suffered leg injuries that were believed to be caused by jellyfish, said Basfe’s spokeswoman in Palu, Fatmawati, who like many Indonesians uses only one name.
The spokeswoman added that Basarnas troops continue to search for the disappeared today in the same area where they found the only survivor, located in the center-north of the archipelago.
The freighter Lintas Timur, 80 meters long and carrying cement from the city of Bitung, in the north of the island, to the municipality of Morowali, in the center, suffered a breakdown in the engine that left him exposed to the inclemency of time and a strong swell that caused its collapse.
In July last year, 167 people died in the wreck of a passenger ship on Lake Toba, in the north of the island of Sumatra, which had been overloaded four times its capacity and because of the strong waves.
Maritime accidents are common in the Asian country due to precarious infrastructures, overloading of passengers and merchandise, lax compliance with safety regulations and bad weather.
The ship is one of the main means of transport in the Indonesian archipelago, formed by more than 17,000 islands and with a population of more than 265 million inhabitants.
Source: La Vanguardia