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15 fishermen missing as boat capsizes in eastern Indonesia

JAKARTA (XINHUA) – Rescuers continued searching for 15 fishermen who went missing after their boat sank in the Arafura Sea, an Indonesian official said yesterday.

The boat, KM Setia Makmur 06, was hit by huge waves during poor weather when it was sailing on Saturday, said Merauke district of Papua province’s search and rescue office spokesman Darmawan Widi.

A search and rescue operation was carried out after the office received the information about the incident, and several other fishing boats near the site were asked to help the operation, said the official.

“Ten people have been rescued safely, but 15 others remain missing,” he told Xinhua, adding the boat carried 25 people. The search for the victims was also conducted by air and a plane of the Indonesian air force was involved, according to the official. “Today, a navy’s warship would also be deployed to the scene,” he said.

The fishing boat departed from a seaport in Dobo, the capital of Aru islands district of Maluku province, on June 24, he added.