At least 15 people are estimated to have been killed after a passenger ferry sank off the Indonesian island of Java, the latest of Indonesia's deadliest maritime disasters, AFP reported on Tuesday, June 18th.
Indonesian Police said the boat was overloaded. It had around 50 passengers when it overturned on Monday in rough seas near Madura island, East Java
Police spokesman Frans Barung Mangera said that search and rescue teams found 13 bodies on Tuesday morning, bringing the death toll to 15, with 31 survivors and at least three persons still missing.
"The overloaded boat was hit by a large wave, overturned and sank," Mangera said in a statement, adding that the 10-metre (32 foot) long vessel was found by fishermen soon after it sank.
Marine accidents are common across Indonesia, a country with some 17,000 islands, that relies heavily on water transportation despite poor safety standards.
Last year, more than 160 people died when a passenger ferry sunk into the depths of one of the world's deepest lakes on Sumatra island. Authorities estimated that over 200 passengers were on board although the ferry's maximum capacity was 60 passengers.
And in 2009, at least 300 people drowned when a ferry sank between the islands of Sulawesi and Borneo.