The Old Bali Blog (2016-2018) « Sea Accidents ~ Bali-to-Lombok Gili Cat 2 'Fast-Boat' Ferry Explodes, Killing and Injuring Tourists
Gili Cat 2 'fast-boat' ferry in fatal accident off Bali
Sep 20, 2016: An Austrian woman and a Spanish woman were killed, and 17 other foreigners injured, in an explosion on a 'fast-boat' speedboat ferry that had just left the resort island of Bali.
Another female tourist is believed to have lost both legs below the knee during the accident.
A 'fast-boat' speedboat ferry operating between Lombok's Gili Trawangan and Bali's Padangbai harbour.
© Ubud High.
The Gili Cat 2 fast-boat had just left Padangbai harbour, in East Bali, and was heading for the popular Gili Islands when there was an explosion on board.
The boat, one of the regular fast-boat ferries that run between Bali's mainland and the Gilis near Lombok, was carrying 35 passengers when the explosion occurred 200 metres from the harbour.
It makes sense when you see crew refueling the boats by hand in the harbours with 20-litre jerry cans full of gasoline, or sitting over the engines with cigarettes dangling out of their mouths.
Look. TII – This Is Indonesia – and everything you do here is at your own risk.
Previous 'fast boat' ferry accidents and explosions between Bali and Lombok's Gili Islands
The fatal Gili Cat 2 explosion isn't the only Bali-Lombok-Gili Islands 'fast-boat' ferry accident over the past few years.
Wahana Ocean 3 fast-boat ferry accident in transit from Lombok's Senggigi to Padangbai Harbour
A number of tourists received minor injuries on June 6 2015 as The Wahana Ocean 3 fastboat-ferry exploded on its way from Senggigi in Lombok to Bali's Padangbai ('Padang Bay') port. Twenty-five out of 129 passengers from Australia, France, Italy, the US, the UK and New Zealand were injured – with no fatalities.
Local water police official Khoirul Anwar said of the accident:
"We suspect that the explosion came from the fuel tank."
No way, Anwar!
Lombok-to-Padangbai harbour fast-boat ferry accident
In October 2013 an overloaded fastboat with 80 passengers on board left Lombok for Bali's Padangbai harbour in heavy weather.
As side-window after side-window was smashed by large waves, the crew started to dig out the life-jackets from under passengers' luggage in the boat's prow – and use them to plug the water that was gushing in.
The boat made it back to Lombok under duress. No refunds were handed out.
Semaya One fast-boat ferry accident from Gili Trawangan to Nusa Lembongan
In March 2013, the Semaya One fastboat returning from Gili Trawangan to Nusa Lembongan was hit front-on by a large wave, smashing the skipper's windscreen and concussing him.
After much bailing by the crew, the boat limped to Sanur where a new perspex windshield was installed in front of disbelieving passengers – ready for the return trip the next day.
From one shocked passenger's first-hand account on Tripadvisor:
'I would like to praise the Captain of the boat, who we later learned had suffered a concussion from the windscreen smashing into his face. The efforts of the Captain to prevent the boat from sinking was astonishing, and despite our ordeal, should be thanked for saving the boat from sinking. The rest of the crew also worked tirelessly to ensure that the boat made it to shore, albeit in beaten up shape...'
Eka Jaya I fast-boat ferry sinks in transit from Bali's Padangbai harbour to Lombok's Gili Trawangan
In August 2010 tragedy was narrowly averted when a large wave holed the hull of the Eka Jaya I travelling from Bali's Padangbai to Gili Trawangan, sinking the fastboat.
The 34 passengers and crew floating in the water were picked up by two passing commercial speedboats, and all made it safely back to Bali – where they were shocked to discover that the port's Search-and-Rescue team had been totally unaware of the incident until the victims turned up wet and shivering on the docks.
Lian Sengiggi fast-boat Ferry sinking between Gili Trawangan and Bali's Padangbai harbour
And in May 2009, 40 passengers and four crew had a close call with nature when the Lian Sengiggi fastboat lost power on its way from Gili Trawangan to Bali and quickly sank.
Most survivors were able to swim to the beach at Jumpai; a third group was carried away by strong currents and were finally rescued by passing fishermen off the coast at Kusamba.
Tip of the Week...
The passengers and crew of the Lian Sengiggi survived because they managed to put on their lifejackets before the ship sank, and formed three groups in the water where they held onto each other before being picked up.
In extremely hairy times like this, you're better off with the crowd. It stops you floating off like George Clooney in 'Gravity'.
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The Last Pic
© 2021 John Storey. All rights reserved.
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