Palu (ANTARA) - The SAR (Serach and Rescue) operation to search for the Lintas Timur boat which sank in the Taliabo strait of North Maluku Province will be extended and the focus of searching area in the eastern waters of Central Sulawesi was expanded to around the Banda Sea.
The head of the SAR Office for Search and Relief Affairs in Central Sulawesi capital of Palu, Basrano, said Monday that the SAR operation would be extended for one day and then monitored.
"Now that it has entered the seventh day of the search for shipwrecks and crew, there are still 16 passengers on the Lintas Timur boat, who have not yet been found," said Basrano.
SAR operations are divided into two teams, one involving the Bhisma boat with a search area of 110 Nm and the other one from Luwuk's combined maritime elements searching along the coastlines of Tolili, Batui, Kembani, and around Arjuna Bay in Banggai waters.
On the seventh day, the SAR operation for the Lintas Timur boat crew did not involve the Super Puma Helicopter HR3213 and the Air Force 737,200 reconnaissance aircraft which were used in the third to sixth day of searching.
"Sweeping the Banggai coastline use the Sea Rider, the Rubber Boat Basarnas and the local Rubber Water Boat," he added.
The Lintas Timur boat owned by PT Citra Baru Adi Nusantara, based in Surabaya, East Java, sank in the strait of Taliabo, North Maluku Province carrying 3,000 tons of cement from Martinus Matitaputi's ship sailing from Bitung Port, Manado, North Sulawesi to Morowali, Central Sulawesi with 18 crew members on Saturday (June 1) at around 2 am local time.
Of the seven days of searching for the sinking boat, only two victims were found, one was safe and one died, but both were not included in the manifest, and until now there are still 16 crew members in the search.
"Hopefully on the seventh day it will pay off. The joint SAR team conducted a search effort starting at 07.00 local time," he said.
On the sixth day of the search and rescue operation, he explained, fishermen found two orange buoys belonging to Lintas Timur boat, which were washed away in the Banggai waters.
The two buoys were found on Friday (June 7) at around 07.00 local time when fishermen were fishing in the middle of the beach in Tou Village, Moilong District.
Source: Antara News