NPR logo Ferry Sinks Off Papua New Guinea: 200+ Rescued, But 100+ Missing

International

Ferry Sinks Off Papua New Guinea: 200+ Rescued, But 100+ Missing

Two life rafts from the MV Rabaul Queen, seen from a helicopter, float in the open waters off Papua New Guinea's east coast, earlier today (Feb. 2, 2012). AP hide caption

toggle caption
AP

Two life rafts from the MV Rabaul Queen, seen from a helicopter, float in the open waters off Papua New Guinea's east coast, earlier today (Feb. 2, 2012).

AP

"Rescuers have plucked 238 survivors from waters off Papua New Guinea after a ferry carrying up to 350 people sank," officials tell The Australian. The newspaper adds that officials say it's too early to declare whether the vessel was overloaded and what caused the disaster.

According to Australia's ABC News, rescuers are having a difficult time because of high winds and rough seas. It adds that "police in Kimbe, where the ferry sailed from, say most of the passengers were students and trainee teachers. ... Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs says the ferry's owners do not believe foreigners were onboard, however consular officials are still seeking confirmation."

Kimbe, however, is "a popular dive site that attracts tourists from across the world," ABC adds.