JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A passenger boat overloaded with people heading home to celebrate the end of Ramadan with their families capsized Wednesday off Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, killing at least 13, a rescue official said.
The Arista was traveling from Paotere port in South Sulawesi province to the nearby island of Barrang Lompo near Makassar, the provincial capital, when it capsized after being battered by a 3-meter (10-foot) wave, said Amiruddin of the local search and rescue agency.
Amiruddin, who uses one name, said search teams and local fisherman rescued 22 people. The wooden boat was carrying 43 people but was designed for just 20, he said.
Rescuers recovered at least 13 bodies from the choppy waters, including four children, and were searching for eight others who were reportedly still missing, Amiruddin said. He said no more victims had been found despite improved weather conditions and extra boats joining the search.
Television videos showed grieving relatives waiting for news of their loved ones at Barrang Lompo’s port and a nearby navy hospital.
Also Wednesday, a speed boat carrying 30 people capsized near Palembang city, said Toto Mulyono, who is coordinating the search and rescue effort. Rescuers recovered three bodies and there were 27 survivors, he said.
Millions of Muslims across the country travel to their hometowns to celebrate the weeklong Eid al-Fitr holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Boats and ferries are popular means of transportation in the archipelago nation with more than 17,000 islands. Accidents due to overcrowding and poor safety standards are common.
This story has been corrected to show that boat sank on Wednesday.
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