The Jakarta Post, Semarang Fri, January 11 2013,
Passengers of KM Tirta Samudra XXI ship, which sank in the Java Sea at 3 a.m. on Friday, are still helplessly floating on a lifeboat near Karimun Jawa Island, Central Java. Rescue boats are unable to approach the lifeboat due to strong winds and high waves.
Ilham Charistyo, personnel from the Semarang SAR team, said the team’s ships could not reach the location as they are made from fiberglass which could not overcome the high waves.
“The Indonesian navy’s ships are also made of fiberglass,” he said.
Ilham said that the boat is reportedly carrying 15 people.
According to Ilham, the speed of the wind has reached between 35 knots (64.82 kilometers per hour) and 37 knots.
“The waves are up to five meters high,” he added.
He said that the team had sought the support of bigger ships from the Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta and Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, the capital province of East Java.
“Ships suitable for the situation could be found there,” he said.
Ilham said that a boat, KM Tanto Horas, saw the lifeboat on Friday afternoon but could not reach the site due to the high waves