Passengers trapped for a night on a stricken ferry off the Indonesian island of Sulawesi were rescued early Wednesday, an official said, as the death toll rose to 29.
The latest in a succession of boat tragedies in Indonesia began on the same day that officials called off a search for 164 people presumed drowned when a wooden ferry sank on June 18 in a deep volcanic crater lake on the island of Sumatra.
The Sulawesi ferry, with 139 passengers aboard according to its manifest, began sinking Tuesday afternoon in rough seas. In a desperate bid to save lives, the vessel’s captain steered it toward shore, grounding it between 200-300 meters (985-655 feet) from land.
Indonesia’s director-general of sea transportation, Agus Purnomo, said in a statement that people trapped on the ferry overnight were rescued early Wednesday.
He didn’t specify how many but said the captain and the boat owner were the last two people to leave the vessel.