Jakarta – At least nine bodies have been found after a ferry sank off the coast of Ternate island due to bad weather, a search and rescue official said Thursday.
The KM Cahaya Arafah capsized in waters off Ternate island on Monday evening, prompting a search and rescue operation for 13 missing people.
Rescuers found four bodies on Wednesday evening and five bodies on the fourth day of the search, the Ternate search and rescue agency said in a statement. Four people remain missing.
The boat was carrying 77 passengers and crew on board as it travelled to nearby Halmahera island.
Sixty-four people were evacuated to a nearby village after the sinking.
Local villagers had sailed out in their longboats to help authorities in a vessel with the search operation.
Marine accidents are common in Indonesia, where people rely on ferries and small boats to travel around despite poor safety standards.
In May, a ferry carrying more than 800 people ran aground in shallow waters off East Nusa Tenggara and remained stuck for two days before being dislodged. No one was hurt in that accident.
In 2018, more than 150 people drowned when a ferry sank in Lake Toba, North Sumatra.