BOYOLALI, KOMPAS.com – The number of deaths from the capsizing of a boat on Kedung Ombo reservoir in Boyolali regency, Central Java has increased to seven people, after SAR teams from the military, police and National Search and Rescue Agency [Basarnas] found another body Sunday.
Boyolali Police Precinct chief Police Grand Commissioner Attendant Morry Ermond said the deceased was identified as a 12-year old girl named Desti Parmaswati. “The finding [of Desti’s body] means that two people remained missing and unaccounted for,” he said.
“SAR teams have deployed 50 divers to search for the missing in depths of 15 to 30 meters. They are also using water drones to find the missing.”
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Morry added that investigators have also questioned Galih or GH, the skipper of the pleasure boat., who was only 13 years old.
“GH confirmed accounts that the boat capsized before it can reach its destination of a floating restaurant, when a passenger made their way to the bow of the ship to take a selfie. The boat tilted to the right and capsized,” he asserted.
Morry noted that the tour operator's use of an underage employee like GH is not their only offense.
“The pleasure boats are made to accommodate 12 people, yet when the vessel capsized it held 20 passengers. The vessel’s operators are required to have life vests, which they neglected to use when the incident occurred.”
Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo also weighed in on the tragedy. “I want the tour operator to account for his action. Their business permit should be reviewed, and if necessary, revoked,” he said, as quoted by the Antara state news agency.
“Local officials should not hesitate to enforce laws or close down tourist sites [like Kedung Ombo] if they are mismanaged or fail to comply with health protocols on social distancing and crowds.”
The Central Java Regional Police have closed Kedung Ombo reservoir after the disaster for violating health protocols and to continue their search for the missing.
(Writer: Labib Zamani, Solo Contributor | Editors: Sabrina Asril, Khairina, Michael Hangga Wismabrata)
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