Friday, December 2, 2022

11 People Drowned On Indonesian Beach While Taking Part In A Ritual

No fewer than eleven people have drowned on a beach in Indonesia after being dragged into the sea by large waves while taking part in a local ritual.

According to officials, the group were among 24 people from several villages who were taking part in an event in the East Java province which involved swimming in the ocean on Saturday night.

A two-year-old girl was among the 13 survivors at the Payangan beach in the Jember district, officials said.

The survivors are now being treated at a health clinic.

The event took place amid warnings to avoid the sea, Surabaya Search and Rescue Agency said.

Chief rescuer Wayan Suyatna said: ‘A local resident warned them not to go into the sea because of big waves but they ignored it.’

Mr Suyatna said 23 people were dragged into the sea by the sudden wave and the last victim was recovered on Sunday afternoon.

Local police chief Hery Purnomo told TVOne: “They were too close to the sea and could not save themselves when the tidal waves came and swept them away.”

It is unclear what kind of ritual the group was performing but it was led by a spiritual leader who survived the incident and will be questioned, Mr Purnomo said.

Regional military commander Batara Pangaribuan said the beach was usually guarded and closed after dark but the group found a way onto it.

Pangaribuan said:

“The beach has been relatively quiet lately because of the pandemic and even if there are visitors they would just sit around and not swim because of the high waves.”

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