Rescue workers have pulled at least 200 people out of the Java Sea after a ferry capsized. The government says 66 bodies have been recovered and more than 400 people are still missing as the search continues. Chad Bouchard reports from Jakarta.
Search and rescue workers Sunday are battling heavy seas as they try to find hundreds of missing passengers who have been lost since early Saturday. Waves up to seven meters high are pounding a rescue fleet of navy ships and fishing boats, hampering the search.
Port officials lost contact with the ferry, the Senopati Nusantara, just after midnight on Saturday.
Based on survivor accounts, Indonesia's Transport Minister, Hatta Radjasa, told reporters what happened as the ship went down north of Java island.
Mr. Radjasa says the ship's crew distributed life vests to the passengers. He says that those who survived the sinking stayed on lifeboats and rafts, but they faced very rough seas.
The ferry had been packed with more than 600 passengers, many of whom were traveling to see relatives for the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday.
Radjasa earlier scolded port officials for allowing the vessel to embark in dangerous weather conditions.
Rescuers say people found adrift are difficult to pull to safety because vessels can not get close enough in rough seas.
The country's weather offices report the area near the shipwreck will still be dangerous for ships to navigate for the next few days.
Ferries are a cheap and widespread means of transportation in Indonesia, an archipelago of 17,000 islands.