JAKARTA, Indonesia - In a tragic incident, a boat carrying tourists capsized off the coast of Indonesia, leaving at least 13 people dead.
According to local authorities, the traditional wooden longboat had been ferrying tourists from Makassar, the provincial capital of South Sulawesi, when disaster struck.
The tourists were reportedly on a short journey to the resort island of Barrang Lompo, some 15kms northwest of the city's coast.
Authorities said that 13 people were confirmed to have died in the incident and dozens of other passengers were rushed to the hospital with varying degrees of injuries.
Further, officials said that another dozen or so passengers are unaccounted for, and are feared to be missing at sea.
Head of the local disaster agency, Amiruddin said, “The boat hit a large ten-foot wave amid bad weather and capsized.”
The Makassar police have launched an investigation into the incident and the Police chief Aris Bachtiar pointed out in a brief statement that the boat was overloaded.
According to local reports, the longboat, which was designed for just passengers, was believed to carrying at least 43 people.
Further, reports noted that rescuers had managed to save 22 people and that eight others were still missing.
The passengers were reportedly natives of Barrang Lompo, who were travelling home from Makssar to visit their families for the Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr.
The boat’s captain has been detained.
Meanwhile, in another incident off the coast of South Sumatra, two people were killed after a speedboat carrying 30 passengers reportedly sank.
The Indonesian search and rescue agency, along with the local police and military have reportedly deployed speedboats and dozens of personnel to search for survivors.
Data from local government bodies revealed that almost 32 million Indonesians are on the move this week in the annual Eid Al-Fitr exodus.
Travelling on a boat or a ship is the most common way of transportation in the archipelagic nation of Indonesia, although lack of safety standards often causes boat incidents.
Indonesia, which is the world's largest predominantly Muslim country, witnesses millions of people travelling each year to their home villages for a holiday marking the end of the Muslim holy month.