Indonesian Ferry Sinks, Kills 25
Rescuers pull at least 243 from rough waters
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 22, 2009 5:34 AM CST
Updated Nov 22, 2009 7:48 AM CST
In this 2005 file photo, a Singaporean Navy vessel patrols the crowded straits between Singapore and Indonesia off the coast of Indonesia. A passenger ferry sank in rough waters this morning.   (Ed Wray)

(Newser) – Rescuers have saved 243 people from the Indonesian passenger ferry that sank today in rough waters off Sumatra island, but at least 25 people, including two children, have died, an official said. An unknown number of passengers were still missing, and search operations were called off after nightfall. A second ferry was still stranded in nearby waters after running aground, but all its passengers were said to be safe.

High waves were complicating the rescue operation of the Dumai Express 10, which left on an inter-island voyage this morning and reportedly sank in poor weather 90 minutes into the trip from Batam to Dumai in Riau, a province off Sumatra island in western Indonesia. The ship sank about 30 minutes after huge waves hit its bow and water started seeping in, according to the ship's captain. Indonesian ferry accidents have killed hundreds in recent years. Boats are often overcrowded and safety regulations are poorly enforced.