World Bulletin / News Desk
The Jakarta Post cited data from a health post in Batam island as saying that at least 38 of the 93 passengers returning from Malaysia on board survived.
Inspector Akmal of Nongsa district police, who like many Indonesians uses only one name, had earlier told Anadolu Agency that recovered bodies were being transported to a nearby hospital.
The Post quoted Riau Islands police chief Brig. Gen. Sambudi Gusdian as saying that police suspected the boat was overloaded and heard reports of the voyage being organized illegally.
An investigation is ongoing, and search and rescue teams have mobilized boats and a helicopter to search for victims.
A survivor, 40-year-old Murizal, said that the boat was heading toward Riau waters when “in the middle of the sea, there were big waves and the ship was hit by it."
He was quoted by tribunnews.com as saying that the vessel immediately capsized.
Another survivor, Bustami, recounted how he and others had been trying to stay afloat and swim when fishermen spotted and rescued them.