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10 Dead, 5 Missing after Boat Sinks in Indonesia

  • Associated Press

Ten people died and five were missing after a small wooden boat capsized in rough seas and sank Sunday off Indonesia's Bintan island, south of Singapore, Indonesian officials said.

Search and rescue personnel, maritime police and the navy were searching for survivors of the sinking. Two people were rescued. Two children were among the 10 people who died.

About 20 ships and 50 fishing boats have been deployed in the search. The effort was being hampered by high waves and strong currents, said disaster agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho.

He said the people on the boat were local tourists traveling to Penyengat island, about 6 kilometers (4 miles) from the city of Tanjung Pinang on Bintan.

The boat was close to its destination when it sank. Nugroho said some of the passengers tried to swim but were overcome by 3-meter (10-foot) waves.

Boat sinkings are common in Indonesia, an archipelago of some 17,000 islands. Ferries are often overcrowded and poorly regulated.

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