15 missing after Indonesian tourist boat sinks


At least 10 foreign tourists and five Indonesians are missing after a boat sank off the coast of eastern Indonesia, officials say.

Ten people were rescued after the boat sank between Lombok and the Komodo Islands.

A representative of the tour company operating the boat said it was likely to have encountered stormy weather.

Lombok, which is next to the resort island of Bali, attracts thousands of tourists each year.

A search and rescue official in Lombok has told the BBC that the 10 survivors are tourists from the UK, New Zealand, Spain, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

As of yet, there is no information about the nationalities of those still missing.

Officials said the boat sank near the island of Sumbawa early on Saturday but the survivors were not rescued until late that day.

"The incident took place... when the boat hit a reef and sank," AFP was told by one official, Suryaman, who goes by one name.

"Fishermen managed to rescue five of them alive later at night on Saturday, and five other foreigners were rescued by a sailing boat."

Accidents at sea have frequently occurred when migrant boats navigate through the archipelago, but accidents involving tourist boats are rare.

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