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Indonesia identifies spot of sunken ferry

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Rescue team members prepare their diving gear before a search operation for the missing passengers after a ferry sank on June 20,2018 in Lake Toba in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia. Reuters

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s search and rescue team has located the sunken ferry in Sumatra’s Lake Toba, an official said on Sunday, after the vessel sank in a bad weather nearly a week ago with almost 200 people onboard.

The hydrographic survey “identified” the ferry 450 metres deep in the water, not far from where it sank on Monday, said Nanang Henky Suharto, an executive director at PT Mahakarya Geo Survey, a firm involved in the search.

Mr Suharto said further investigation by deploying underwater drones will be required to confirm the findings. “Due to the depth, divers cannot be deployed,” he said. Divers, going down a maximum 40 metres, could do little in the volcanic lake that has never been properly surveyed.

In 2014, an AirAsia flight carrying 162 people crashed into Java Sea. The plane was submerged 50 metres deep and was found within days.

Three people have been confirmed dead and 18 people were rescued after the 15-tonne wooden boat went down in Indonesia’s deadliest ferry disaster for nearly a decade.

Some 192 people are missing, most believed to be trapped inside the boat as it slipped beneath the waves. An official with search and rescue agency (Basarnas) said raising the ship would be required to recover the bodies.

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