Search on for dozens missing in Indonesia ferry sinking

Search on for dozens missing in Indonesia ferry sinking

Authorities were trying to confirm the total number of passengers who had been on board the ferry, but said at least 128 people were missing. Bad weather and high waves hampered the search, he said.

Indonesian marine soldiers prepare for a search and rescue operation for the sunken boat at Lake Toba in North Sumatera Province June 19, 2018.

Sri Hardianto, an official at Indonesia's transport ministry, said the ferry had a capacity of only 60 passengers but might have carried 80 people and dozens of motorcycles, Bangkok Post reported.

Several hundred rescue personnel were searching for survivors today after a boat sank in Indonesia with about 80 people aboard on Monday afternoon, the second disastrous ship sinking in as many weeks, the national disaster agency said.

Authorities have released the names of the 94 people confirmed as missing who were on board the ferry when it capsized in rough weather.

The search and rescue agency was sending divers to look for victims in the lake's depths, he said.

But local officials said dozens of people are likely still unaccounted for almost a day after the sinking.

The wooden vessel was traveling on Lake Toba, a popular tourist destination on Sumatra island, when it capsized.

Pictures from the scene show distressed relatives of missing passengers holding each other and crying as they wait for news at Tigaras Port.

Indeed, the popularity of Lake Toba is such that the Indonesian government has taken special care to try and introduce sustainable tourism measures out of fear that the high level of visitors may be destroying its natural majesty.

Ferry tragedies are common in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, with weak enforcement of safety regulations often to blame.

It comes after a longboat carrying around 43 people sank off Makassar on Sulawesi island last week, leaving 13 people dead.