Indonesian rescuers are searching for missing people from the Marina Baru boat offshore (Source: AFP/VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) –
The navy of Indonesia plans to send warships to join the search for 54 people still missing from the recent boat accident on December 19, said the Indonesian Search and Rescue Agency chief Henry Bambang Soelistyo on December 23.

24 ships and fishing boats are searching for the victims in the Gulf of Bone where the Marina Baru, carrying 118 passengers and crewmen, sank on its way from Kolaka in Southeast Sulawesi province to Siwa town in South Sulawesi province, he said.

A helicopter and a CN-235 aircraft are searching from the air while soldiers and police are combing the coastline, according to Soelistyo.

Indonesian rescuers recovered 16 more bodies on December 23, bringing the death toll in the incident to 23.

The fiberglass ferry was reportedly overwhelmed by waves more than 3 meters high during stormy weather.-VNA