Seven Indonesians drown after boat selfie attempt goes wrong

A group selfie attempt ended in tragedy after an overloaded boat capsized leaving seven people dead in Boyolali Regency in Java island, Indonesia.

While eleven people were rescued from the accident, two passengers still remain missing.

Seven Indonesians drown after boat selfie attempt
PHOTO CREDIT: HANDOUT / National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) / AFP

According to Central Java police chief Ahmad Lutfi, the unfortunate incident happened when all 20 passengers suddenly transferred to one side of the overcrowded boat causing it to capsize.

"The 20 people took a selfie on the right side, then the boat lost balance and flipped,” Lutfi explained.

Aside from the fact that the tourist boat was overloaded, a 13-year-old boy helmed the boat. Because of minimal safety standards, boat accidents are common in Indonesia.

Selfie-related deaths on the rise

Based on a report by BBC News in 2018, there have been 259 deaths related to extreme selfies around the world between the period of 2011 and 2017 and the figure seems to be increasing.

Selfie-related deaths were found to be common in countries like the United States of America, Russia, India and Pakistan.

While 72.5% of the reported deaths are men, the most common cause of selfie-related deaths were found to be drowning, transport accidents as well as falling. Other causes include death by fire and firearms, animal and electrocution.

Researchers at the US National Library of Medicine believe that the actual number of selfie-related deaths could actually be higher due to underreporting.

"It is believed that selfie deaths are underreported and the true problem needs to be addressed,” the report said.

“Thus, the true magnitude of the problem is underestimated. It is therefore important to assess the true burden, causes, and reasons for selfie deaths so that appropriate interventions can be made.”

Researchers have previously recommended the introduction of “no selfie zones” at dangerous areas in order to prevent deaths.

— Mini, The Summit Express

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