A ferry has sunk off off north Java. Indonesia being a nation of 17,000 islands and not much money, the many boats used for transporting people / goods are always overloaded. This is the Indonesian equivelant of a ‘Value Jet’ crashing…goes with the territory.
The ferry depaerted Semarang in north Central Java, heading for the port of Kumai, in Kalimantan with 850 passengers. According to the BBC website, the ship encontered 5 meter waves and that was it.
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What do you do if you are travelling in Indonesia by ferry? Never get on a ferry that looks dangerously overloaded. Never get on a ferry heading into a big storm, try travelling during the day as rescue will be easier, if the ship sinks. Do not sleep in a cabin, sleep on the rear deck so you can get out in a capsize situation. Bring your own means of floatation, as there will not be enough life jackets. As I mentioned before, a large kid’s inflatable rubber ring, is better than nothing, and might keep you afloat long enough for a fishing boat to find you.