JAKARTA, Indonesia – Fourteen people on board a ferry that sank were picked up by a passing cargo ship after spending nine days on a life raft, a rescue official said Monday.
A 15th person died soon after being rescued by the ship late Sunday, said Ketut Purwa, head of the search and rescue agency on Bali island.
The survivors were scheduled to arrive in Makassar, a port city on Sulawesi island, on Monday evening, said Purwa, who spoke to the captain of the cargo ship by radio.
The Senopati Nusantara was sailing from Borneo Island to the country's main island of Java when it sank just before midnight on Dec. 29 after being pounded by waves of up to 12 feet high for several hours.
About 230 people have been found alive since the ferry sank, but around 400 are either dead or listed as missing. Only 10 bodies have been recovered.
A government investigator said Thursday she suspected the waves washed into the car deck and became trapped there, causing the vessel to capsize. Similar accidents have occurred on other "roll-on, roll-off" ferries around the world, leading to calls for a change in their design.
Indonesia has been wracked in recent weeks by seasonal storms that have triggered deadly landslides, flooding and at least six maritime accidents in different parts of the sprawling archipelago. A jetliner with 102 people on board also disappeared in heavy winds and is still missing.