Thursday, February 2, 2012

More than 200 rescued from Papua New Guinea ferry sinking

(CNN) -- Rescuers plucked more than 200 survivors from the sea after a passenger ship sunk off the east coast of Papua New Guinea, a spokeswoman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said Thursday.
The Australian authorities have been helping Papua New Guinea with rescue efforts after the ship, the MV Rabaul Queen, sunk about 16 kilometers (10 miles) off Cape Fortification in the Vitiaz Strait after getting into trouble early Thursday.
After an alert was sent out, boats and helicopters rushed to the scene to try to save scores of people left adrift at sea by the sinking.
Rescuers have so far recovered 238 people, said Jo Meehan of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
Australia is Papua New Guinea's closest neighbor bar Indonesia, with which it shares a border.
Information from the ferry company suggested that there were about 350 aboard the boat when it sunk, said Carly Lusk, a spokeswoman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

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