Indonesia: 11 fishermen missing as high waves hit Cilacap in Java

A massive search operation has been launched to locate the missing fishermen.

Eleven fishermen have gone missing in the tumultuous sea off the coast of Pangandaran in Cilacap, central Java on Thursday.

The rescue team has found their capsized boats in the sea, some 50 km from Cilacap. A massive search operation has been launched to locate the missing fishermen.

"Pangandaran fishermen reported on the capsized boat on Wednesday afternoon; we then approached the location," said the National Search and Rescue Agency's (Basarnas) coordinator in Cilacap, Mulwahyono.

The missing fishermen are identified as Bayu, Danang, Teguh, Fresmo, Aris, Arisman, Agus, Eko, Kunto, Latip and Karjo. They had set sail from Cilacap on Wednesday morning.

For the last two days, the weather conditions have been extreme. The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said that the high tidal waves were the effect of Typhoon Nida.

Earlier in June, high tidal waves had hit the Cilacap coast inundating houses and preventing local fishermen from going to the sea.

"The tides were very high. It was frightening. Residents went out to higher ground fearing a tsunami," said a local resident.

The waves reached 4 to 6 meters in height and an alert was issued asking resident t avoid the sea.

"We have issued an early warning on the high waves that hit western waters of Central Java and Yogyakarta and extended the period of validity several times," said Teguh Wardoyo of the BMKG.

Last year, at least 15 Indonesians killed after a wooden vessel capsized in Sabak Berenam waters in Selangor, Malaysia.