A migrant boat ferrying 20 Indonesian workers sank on its way to Malaysia on January 21 and rescuers have found 10 survivors and were conducting a search operation on Thursday for ten missing workers, according to the reports. The rescue team said that they have recovered one body. Pekanbaru rescue spokesperson, Kukuh Widodo said that the boat began leaking and sank about an hour after leaving Rupat island in the Bengkalis regency late Tuesday. Kukuh said that the 10 survivors are identified mostly belonging from North Sumatra and were rescued with life jackets.
Sigit Adiwuryant, Bengkalis Local Police Chief confirmed that later on Thursday one passenger's body had been recovered. The emergency services and rescuers involve the Indonesian navy and local water police who used an inflatable boat to search the spot where the boat submerged. The local police chief said that the survivors told them the trip was illegal and were not verified and not carrying any documents. Boats and ferries are common means of transportation in the island nation with more than 17,000 islands. Accidents caused by overcrowding and poor safety standards are very common.
In a similar incident, around 60 migrants lost their lives in a boat crash that took place off the coast of Mauritius. Sources have reported that the boat with the migrants was heading for Spain and reportedly crashed some 15 miles from the city of Nouadhibou on December 4. As per the reports of the International Organisation of Migration, the boat had originated from the Gambia with 150 passengers in total. The rescue operation that was conducted found 57 bodies. 83 of the passengers survived. According to one of the survivors, the boat had left the Gambia on November 27.