10 dead, five missing after boat capsizes in Indonesia's Riau Islands

At least 10 died and five were missing after a boat sank Sunday while taking tourists from Tanjung Pinang to Penyengat Island in Indonesia's Riau Islands province, an official said.

The boat was transporting 17 passengers, including a boat operator and two children, when high waves and strong winds caused the boat to capsize in the waters off Penyengat Island, said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency.

"Joint search and rescue team have found 12 passengers, 10 of whom died and two were injured. The team is still searching for the remaining five passengers who are missing," Nugroho said.

He added that after the boat capsized, some passengers swam to their rescue or were fished out of the water by nearby boats, while some of them who couldn't swim were swept away by the waves and died.

The National Search and Rescue Agency has deployed 200 personnel, 20 search and rescue boats and 50 wooden passenger boats to scour the waters for the missing passengers, as well as marines who are diving to find drowned passengers.

"The main obstacle now is the strong current," Nugroho said. 

Last update: Sun, 21/08/2016 - 12:08

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