JAKARTA: An Indonesian warship recovered more than 40 bodies from the sea on Tuesday in the search for the AirAsia jet, a navy spokesman told AFP.
"Based on the navy radio, it has been reported that the warship Bung Tomo has retrieved 40 bodies and the number is growing. They are very busy now," Mr Manahan Simorangkir said.
The crew of a Hercules rescue aircraft also located bodies close to the first body, and the debris, found in Karimata Strait near Air Hitam Bay.
Hercules A-1319 co-pilot, First-Lt Erwin Tri Prabowo, said he spotted as many as eight bodies within 2-3 nautical mile (5km) radius.
One body floating face down was in a white top and black pants, while several others in a row appeared to be holding hands, Detik.com reported.
Earlier, Indonesia's media outlets reported that Indonesian warship KRI Bung Tomo found six bodies, citing local broadcaster TV One.
It is trying to rescue other bodies being tossed by strong waves, reported Detik.com. -The Straits Times/ANN