Ten Wakatobi fishermen survive boat fire

Ten Wakatobi fishermen survive boat fire

Rescuers preparing for a search and rescue mission. (Foto: ANTARA/sarjono)

Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi (ANTARA) - Ten traditional fishermen were rescued after their longboat caught fire while they were diving for fish on Wednesday evening in Kapota waters, Wakatobi district, Southeast Sulawesi province.


The accident occurred about 14 nautical miles from the Wakatobi post of the Search and Rescue (SAR) Agency, Aris Sofingi, head of the Kendari office of the SAR, told local journalists in Kendari, the provincial capital, on Thursday.


He did not provide any information regarding the cause of the fire.


Rescuers from SAR were dispatched along with navy and police personnel to the site of the accident after one of the fishermen’s relatives, identified as Eta, alerted the authorities.


While the fire is believed to have broken out around 7.30 p.m. local time, Eta reported it to the Wakatobi SAR post at 11.30 p.m. local time, said Sofingi adding, the rescuers managed to find all 10 fishermen by 1.55 a.m. on Thursday.


The survivors have been identified as Lapondi (33), Lanui (53), Lamuru (42), Amir (52), Sa Ali (32), Arnol (34), Seni (32), Ladona (30), La Oge (34), and Labula (37).


Indonesia remains vulnerable to sea accidents. On July 12, 2020, the skipper of a speedboat, identified as Asek, went missing after his vessel collided with another boat in Kubu River, Kubu Raya, West Kalimantan province.


Local rescuers found the body of the 40-year-old skipper about 5.4 kilometers from the site of the accident, according to head of the Pontianak office of the SAR Agency, Yopi Haryadi.


On July 5, 2020, five passengers of Motor Vessel Kasih 25 went missing after the vessel capsized in the Fukuafu waters, off Kupang district, East Nusa Tenggara province.


In June this year, a tugboat, Multi Sahabat 8, capsized in the Batu Ampar waters, off Batam Island, Riau Islands province. Although four of the tugboat's crew survived, its skipper went missing.


In another accident in West Sumatra Province, three fishermen went missing after their fishing boat sank near the Gosong Gadang Island in Padang.


On June 18, 2018, several passengers traveling on board MV ‘Sinar Bangun’ lost their lives after the vessel capsized in Lake Toba, North Sumatra province. Out of the 202 passengers reportedly traveling on the boat at the time, only 21 survived, while three lost their lives and 164 went missing.


The boat tragedy struck at a time when the Indonesian government was making all-out efforts to promote Lake Toba as one of the 10 priority destinations ‘Beyond Bali’. (INE)

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