Indonesia rushes to rescue 140 after ferry sinks, killing four

JAKARTA, July 3 (Reuters) - Authorities in Indonesia were scrambling on Tuesday to rescue about 140 passengers from a ferry that sank off the coast of Sulawesi island, killing at least four, officials said.

The disaster comes in the wake of last month's sinking of an overcrowded ferry on the southeast Asian nation's Lake Toba, one of the world's deepest volcanic lakes, which took about 200 lives.

At least four people were confirmed dead in Tuesday's incident, the chief of South Sulawesi's Selayar regency told broadcaster TVOne.

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Ferry sinks into Lake Toba in Indonesia
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Ferry sinks into Lake Toba in Indonesia
Relatives of missing passengers of a ferry that sank cry while throwing flowers into Lake Toba in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia July 3, 2018. Antara Foto/Sigid Kurniawan/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A relative of a missing passenger on a ferry that sank into Lake Toba holds a picture of his daughter Siti Arbiyah and her boyfriend Alvaru Siahaan, before a prayer for the victims at Tigaras port in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia July 3, 2018. Antara Foto/Sigid Kurniawan/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
Relatives of the missing passengers of a ferry that sank into Lake Toba pray for their families at Tigaras port in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia July 3, 2018. Antara Foto/Sigid Kurniawan/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT.
Relatives of the missing passengers of a ferry that sank into Lake Toba pray for their families at Tigaras port in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia July 3, 2018. Antara Foto/Sigid Kurniawan/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT.
Relatives of missing passengers react during a visit to the location of the ferry that sank at Lake Toba in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia July 2, 2018. Antara Foto/Sigid Kurniawan/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA.
Search and rescue officers carry items they believe belonged to passengers from a ferry which sank last week in Lake Toba, at Tigaras Port, Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia June 25, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Picture taken June 25, 2018. Irsan Mulyadi/Antara Foto via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA.
A search and rescue helicopter taking part in the search for a ferry that sank earlier this week in Lake Toba prepares to land at Tigaras port, Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia June 23, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Picture taken June 23, 2018. Antara Foto/Irsan Mulyadi / via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN INDONESIA.
Rescue team members stand on a rubber boat during a search for missing passengers after a ferry sank last week in Lake Toba in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia, June 27, 2018. Picture taken June 27, 2018. Antara Foto/Sigid Kurniawan/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT.
Family members of missing victims of a capsized ferry mourn during a mass memorial service at Lake Toba in North Sumatra on July 3, 2018. - The retrieval of scores of bodies from an Indonesian ferry that sunk into the depths of one of the world's deepest lakes is being called off, a rescue official said on July 2. (Photo by LAZUARDY FAHMI / AFP) (Photo credit should read LAZUARDY FAHMI/AFP/Getty Images)
Family members of missing victims of a capsized ferry mourn during a mass memorial service at Lake Toba in North Sumatra on July 3, 2018. - The retrieval of scores of bodies from an Indonesian ferry that sunk into the depths of one of the world's deepest lakes is being called off, a rescue official said on July 2. (Photo by IVAN DAMANIK / AFP) (Photo credit should read IVAN DAMANIK/AFP/Getty Images)
Family members of missing victims of a capsized ferry mourn during a mass memorial service at Lake Toba in North Sumatra on July 3, 2018. - The retrieval of scores of bodies from an Indonesian ferry that sunk into the depths of one of the world's deepest lakes is being called off, a rescue official said on July 2. (Photo by IVAN DAMANIK / AFP) (Photo credit should read IVAN DAMANIK/AFP/Getty Images)
Rescuers operate rubber boats during a search and rescue operation for missing passengers from Monday's ferry accident at Lake Toba at Tigaras port in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia, June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta
Relatives of missing passengers from Mondya's ferry accident on Lake Toba react as they wait for news at a command post at Tigaras port in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia, June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta
Relatives of missing passengers from a ferry accident on Lake Toba wait for news at a command post at Tigaras port in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia June 21, 2018, in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Irsan Mulyadi/ via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. INDONESIA OUT.
Rescuers operate rubber boats during a search and rescue operation for missing passengers from Monday's ferry accident at Lake Toba at Tigaras port in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia, June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta
Relatives of missing passengers from Monday's ferry accident on Lake Toba wait for news at a command post at Tigaras port in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia, June 21, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta
A rescue team member prepares diving equipment at Tigaras port after a ferry sank earlier this week in Lake Toba in Simalungun, North Sumatra, Indonesia, June 22, 2018. REUTERS/Beawiharta
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There were also vehicles on board the ferry when it filled with water and sank, media said. The vessel was close to shore at the time.

It was unclear how many people had been rescued, and television images showed dozens of passengers hanging on to the keeling vessel or bobbing in the water wearing life jackets.

Indonesia suffers frequent boat sinkings, with basic safety rules often flouted and vessels overloaded.

After last month's sinking, one of the deadliest in nearly a decade, a two-week search and rescue effort located the vessel at a depth of 1,500 ft with victims trapped inside, but technical and logistical challenges forced the recovery to be called off.

(Reporting by Tabita Diela; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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