A passenger and a crew member were severely injured when two ferries carrying scores of passengers collided in the middle of the sea off Batam, Riau Islands, on Monday afternoon.
The Miko Natalia ferry, made of fiberglass and the smaller of the two boats, departed from the Sekupang domestic harbour in Batam and was heading to Tanjungbalai Karimun at 2 p.m. After traveling for around 20 minutes, or one nautical mile from Batam Port, the vessel collided with the Batam Jet 2 ferry which was traveling from Tanjungbalai Karimun to Batam.
The Batam Jet 2, which was carrying 75 passengers, hit the Miko Natalia, carrying 20 passengers, with its bow and tore open the front part of the vessel and damaged the roof of the Miko Natalia.
A female passenger of the Miko Natalia, Sari, said she heard a loud thud which was followed by strong rocking and soon the passenger cabin was filling up with water.
"We were panicked and jostling to get to the exit while holding life vests and screaming hysterically," said Sari.
A number of boat crew members then directed passengers to board another boat that had berthed next to the Miko Natalia. The evacuation was done immediately due to the rescuing boat's proximity to the accident site, which happened in a busy shipping lane.
A Miko Natalia female passenger and boat crew member were severely injured and are being treated at the Batam Free Trade Zone Management Agency Hospital.