Boat carrying wedding guests goes missing in Indonesia

Boat carrying wedding guests goes missing in Indonesia

JAKARTA - A boat carrying about 20 Indonesians to a wedding on the resort island of Bali has gone missing after breaking down, officials said Tuesday.

The wooden motor boat was heading from the east of the main island of Java to Bali late Monday when its engine failed, Supriyono, search and rescue chief in the city of Surabaya, told AFP.

The captain managed to briefly call authorities soon after the boat broke down, and reported about 20 people were on board, said the official, who like many Indonesians goes by one name.

However the official added that authorities had not been able to get in touch with the skipper since, and the vessel's location was unclear.

A helicopter and navy ship had been deployed to hunt for the boat. Those on the vessel were heading to celebrate a wedding on Bali, said national search and rescue agency spokesman Supeno, who also goes by one name.

Indonesian news agency Antara reported that family members of the bride and groom were believed to be on the boat, but it was unclear whether the couple themselves were.

Indonesia relies heavily on boats to connect its more than 17,000 islands, but has a poor maritime safety record.

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