18 of 20 Foreign Tourists in Sinking Boat off Bima Saved

MATARAM ~

At least 18 of 20 foreign tourists reported missing in the sea off Bima, West Nusa Tenggara, were found safe and rescued by rescue team and local fishermen.

The boat with 25 people on board including 5 crewmen capsized off the Sangeang Island in the district of Bima, West Nusa Tenggara on Sunday.

Two others are still missing and the rescue workers are still searching for them,” head of the local national search and rescue agency (Basarnas) Lalu Wahyu Efendi said here on Monday.

The boat with 25 people on board (not 27 as reported on Sunday) on its way from Labuhan Lombok, in East Lombok, East Nusa Tenggara, to the famous Komodo Island, might have crashed into seas coral.

Wahyu said 10 of the passengers were saved later on Sunday by the rescue team and 13 others were rescued by local fishermen before dawn on Monday.

The fishermen found the 13 people floating in the sea on Monday and now there had been evacuated to Labuhan Sape.

They are suffering from dehydration, but now they had been treated at a local hospital, he added.

West Nusa Tenggara Province police are continuing to investigate the cause of the boat mishap.

“The investigation has not yet been concluded,” said spokesman to the local police office Adjunct Commissioner M Suryo Saputra on Monday.

According to police record, 23 of the total 25 passengers have been rescued, while two are still missing.

“We are still conducting investigation over the case, while also monitoring the search and rescue process of the victims,” added Suryo.

The identities of the foreign tourists were not immediately available.

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