A ferry carrying at least 82 passengers and crew sank Wednesday in eastern Indonesia after it reported being battered by 10-foot waves, and navy vessels were searching for survivors.

A police officer said one of the rescue ships had reported picking up 56 survivors.

"We have been told they survived because they were wearing life jackets," Sgt. Made Dwi told The Associated Press from Rote Island, the ferry's destination.

Naval spokesman Rear Adm. Yusuf Malik said the ship's manifest showed it was carrying 82 passengers and crew, but more people may have been on board.

The ferry contacted a local port around two hours after leaving land to say it was turning back because of bad weather, he said.

"The report said waves were up to 10 feet high," he said.

The ferry was traveling from the port of Kupang on the western side of Timor island to Rote Island, a trip that normally takes around four hours.

The region is about 1,250 miles east of Jakarta.