KUPANG: At least 11 people were killed and more than 30 are missing after a passenger boat went down in waters off eastern Indonesia on Monday, the country`s search and rescue agency said.
"We have found 11 dead bodies and still look for about 32 people that went missing," National Search and Rescue Agency spokesman Gagah Prakoso told AFP.
The boat set sail carrying about 60 passengers at 07.30 am (2330 GMT on Sunday) and capsized two hours later off Flores island, in East Nusa Tenggara province, he said.
Local police chief Abdul Rahma Aba said that the inter-island vessel was struck by high waves which caused panic among passengers before it capsized about two miles from shore.
Prakoso said that 17 passengers were found alive and searchers including local fishermen continued to hunt for survivors.
The Indonesian archipelago of more than 17,000 islands is heavily dependent on maritime services but its safety record is poor, and fatal accidents are common.
Up to 335 people were killed when a heavily overloaded ferry sank off Sulawesi island in January last year. In December 2006 a ferry went down in a storm off the coast of Java, killing more than 500 people.
BDST: 1355 HRS, August 09, 2010