Indonesian authorities said on Wednesday, June 5th, that 17 people were still missing after a cargo boat sank off the east of the country. It is the latest maritime accident to hit the nation, AFP has reported.
The vessel, which capsized on Saturday afternoon with 18 people onboard, was sailing from Bitung, on the northern tip of Sulawesi island, to Morowali Regency in the south, according to rescue officials.
Only one person out of the 18 has been found. Floating in a life jacket, he was picked up by a passing vessel on Tuesday. The 35-year-old survivor is now receiving medical treatment, authorities said.
"A rescue vessel has been deployed to search for the remaining 17 crew members," Search and Rescue official Basrano, who goes by one name, said.
According to authorities, the 80-metre-long KM Lintas Timur, which was carrying cement, overturned in rough seas after its engine went dead,
Marine accidents are common in Indonesia, an archipelago nation of more than 17,000 islands, where many use ferries and other boats to travel despite poor safety standards.
Around 160 people died when an Indonesian ferry sunk into the depths of one of the world's deepest lakes on Sumatra island last year.
In 2015, the death toll from a ferry disaster in the Sulawesi sea, central Indonesia, was 20, while nearly 60 people remained missing 5 days after the accident.
And in 2009, over 300 people were estimated to have drowned when a ferry sank between Sulawesi and Borneo.