Indonesian authorities call off search for missing occupants of ferry that sank off Sulawesi

PASSENGER VESSEL WEEK
Some of the rescued passengers of the ferry Ladang Pertiwi 02, which capsized and sank off Indonesia's Sulawesi province on May 26, 2022. Of the 50 people who were on board the vessel at the time of the incident, four are confirmed dead while 15 are still missing. (Photo: Basarnas)

Authorities in Indonesia have called off an ongoing search operation aimed at locating and recovering the missing passengers and crew of a ferry that sank off Sulawesi province late last month.

The search operation was ordered suspended on Monday, June 6, after the confirmed death toll from the loss of the ferry Ladang Pertiwi 02 rose to four with the discovery of bodies in the Makassar Strait over the last eleven days.

Fifteen other people who were on board the wooden-hulled vessel are still missing and are now presumed dead.

Authorities said the ferry ran out of fuel while it was underway in the strait on May 26. It capsized and sank later that same day as the area was beset by bad weather.

Only 31 of the 50 people who were on board the vessel were rescued. This number also includes the captain, who has been named as a suspect for sailing without the necessary permits.

Local media said Ladang Pertiwi 02‘s owner has also been named as a suspect for reportedly hiring unqualified crews.

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