Tue, 19 Aug 2003

Official killed and two others missing in boat mishap

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

An official was killed and two others are feared dead after their speed boat collided with a motorized canoe on the Kelambu river in Kutai Kartanegara regency, East Kalimantan.

The missing are the head of the province's National Unity Office, N.B. Naryanto, and office staff member Adi. The body of Mujiono, who also worked for the unity office, has been recovered.

Naryanto's son Yudha and Heryansyah, who also both worked for the unity office, survived Sunday's accident in Anggana subdistrict, Antara reported on Monday.

All four passengers of the motorized canoe survived.

Rescue workers, police and local villagers were expected to continue their search for the missing men on Tuesday.

Anggana military command chief First Lt. Sukadiman told Antara that the collision occurred at 7 p.m. local time.

Neither the speed boat, owned by the unity office and driven by Naryanto, or the canoe had lights. Both boats had sunk and had not been found.

Yudha said they were traveling home to Samarinda from Anggana when the collision took place.

"Our vessel was split up and capsized."

Yudha said his father had attempted to swim to the riverbank but failed as the current was too strong.

"My father then returned to the middle of the river and grabbed onto the speed boat that had already split in two.

"Pak Heryansyah and I did the same, and my father gave me a life belt. Pak Heryansyah and I managed to swim to the riverbank, but I lost sight of my father was after that."

East Kalimantan Governor Suwarna A.F., who joined the search and rescue team, expressed concern.

He asked that the local transportation office take steps to prevent similar tragedies, including enforcing traffic regulations on the river.

It was not clear what traffic regulations he was referring to.

Suwarna said another boat accident on June 29, 2003 claimed the lives of at least three local officials from East Kalimantan.