Eleven Dead in Penida Boat Disaster

NUSA PENIDA

At least 11 people drowned after a boat carrying passengers overturned off Nusa Penida in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The boat, a 20-metre fishing boat called Sri Rejeki, was carrying an estimated 36 people at the time. The group were Nusa Penida residents who had travelled to neighbouring Nusa Lembongan on Tuesday to attend a religious ceremony.

After celebrations ended they opted to head home and the boat – which is understood to have been carrying musical instruments used in the ceremony – departed shortly after midnight.

The boat overturned about a kilometre offshore, although officials said it was unclear whether overcrowding or bad weather were to blame for the accident.

Rescue teams and other fishing boats joined the search for survivors.  By midday on Wednesday 11 survivors had been found and 11 bodies recovered. Rescuers were still searching for a further 14 people confirmed to have been on board.

The boat was known to have been carrying 33 passengers and three crewmen, but officials said it was possible that the total number of missing persons was higher.

“As it was a traditional boat there was no passenger manifest, so it’s possible that the death toll may rise further,” said search and rescue official Sunarbowo Sandi.

Survivors were initially treated at a clinic on Nusa Lembongan. Some were later transferred to the Bali mainland, and to hospitals on Nusa Penida.

On Wednesday Klungkung Vice-Regent Cokorda Gede Agung travelled to Nusa Penida to visit the families of the victims, and those who had been rescued, having cut short a meeting with community leaders from the villages involved in a violent land dispute last week.

Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika also visited the scene of the accident on Wednesday, travelling in a search-and-rescue helicopter.

Speaking to reporters after his visit he said three respected artists and teachers who had previously been delegates at the Bali Arts Festival, brothers from the same family, were among the missing.

“They were a large family, with four brothers all of who were teachers.  Of those four only one has been found alive,” he said.

Pastika said it was believed that a gamelan set used in the earlier ceremony was being transported back to Nusa Penida in the boat, and that the extra weight may have caused the vessel to overturn.

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One Response to “Eleven Dead in Penida Boat Disaster”

  1. brooks Says:

    if they just had life jackets they would all be alive. So sad and so easy to prevent

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