Forty five people were found safe and evacuated to Ternate in the rescue operation assisted by local fishermen and water police, Imelda Alini, corporate secretary of PT ASDP Indonesia Ferry, the company operating the ill fated boat, said in a statement.
The survivors were passengers of MV Bandeng which lost contact on Wednesday (Aug 15) at 11 a.m. local time on its way from Tobelo in North Maluku, to Bitung, North Sulawesi Province.
The Basarnas team managed to spot the passengers aboard inflatable life-rafts, after midnight.
Reporting by M Razi R
Editing by Fardah Assegaf