Indonesia: Eleven taking part in local ritual drown in big waves on beach

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Eleven people taking part in a local ritual have drowned after being dragged by big waves on a beach in Indonesia.

They were part of a group of 24 people from several villages who took part in the ritual in East Java province despite warnings to avoid the sea, officials said.

The local ritual involves swimming in the ocean on Saturday night, officials from the Surabaya Search and Rescue Agency said.

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

The survivors were being treated at a health clinic.

“A local resident warned them not to go into the sea because of big waves but they ignored it,” chief rescuer I Wayan Suyatna said.

He added that 23 of them were dragged by a sudden wave. The last victim was recovered on Sunday afternoon.

Indonesia’s weather agency has warned of potential extreme weather and high waves in several regions, including East Java province.

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