About 80 people are still missing, three are confirmed dead and 39 have been rescued after a ferry accident off the Indonesian province of Sulawesi. Survivors said the ferry, carrying 110 passengers and 12 crew, had sunk but this has not been officially confirmed. Authorities on Sulawesi island said the ship had been hit by 3m (10ft) waves on Saturday and it was adrift.
Officials said the last contact from the ship’s captain said that water was beginning to enter the vessel. The ship left Kolaka in south-east Sulawesi province on Saturday morning local time, officials said, and was bound for the port of Siwa across the Gulf of Boni.
Transport ministry spokesman JA Barata said a distress signal was sent out later in the day saying the ship had “had an accident as a result of large waves”. Six rescue vessels were sent from nearby Kendari and Makassar. Survivors had clung to fishing buoys for hours.
Rescue leader Roki Asikin said the waves meant it took another three hours to evacuate some survivors to shore. Anxious relatives waited at Siwa port for news of loved ones Indonesia has more than 17,000 islands linked by ferry services, but correspondents say the industry has a poor safety record.