Dive Boat Stricken off Komodo after Captain Disappears

komododancercruising.jpgLEGIAN ~ Thirteen foreign tourists were left stranded off the coast of the lizard-thronged island of Komodo east of Bali after the captain of the diving boat they were living on fell overboard and was not found, the company operating the excursion told The Bali Times.

It is suspected that Captain Daeng of the seafaring Bugis tribe from Sulawesi had a stroke as he was near the boat’s railings and fell overboard and drowned in the powerful currents that sweep the area, Guido Brink, managing director of Kuta-based PT Ombak Biru, said.

“He had been acting strangely for a few days, and we think he had a stroke,” he said.

The incident happened on August 24 and police were immediately alerted, a search-and-rescue team dispatched to the remote region near the island of Flores.

However three days of combing the waters failed to yield any results, said Brink, adding that a police report would likely conclude the captain died as a result of drowning.

Captain Daeng had been with the company for 10 years and his family lives in Sumbawa, next to Lombok. They would be taken care of financially, said Brink.

Daeng’s craft, the Komodo Dancer, is a classic schooner sailing ship that takes tourists on scuba diving trips around the eastern Indonesian islands.

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