Police at Gilimanuk Harbour have confirmed that they have issued formal warnings to ferry operators crossing the Bali Strait after another passenger has fallen overboard. The incident happened on Tuesday, 31st January, and is the second time a passenger has fallen from a ferry in the space of a year. The ship’s management company and other ferry operators have been warned to increase passenger safety and be better equipped with rescue support apparatus.
The Chief of Police for Gilimanuk Harbour, I Dewa Putu Werdiana, investigated the situation. He said that in this instance, the KMP Trisna Dwitya, did have sufficient rescue apparatus; however, the incident has raised concerns over passenger safety. He said, “we will coordinate again so that passenger safety and security is the [number one] concern.”
Werdiana shared that the passenger who fell off the side of the ferry must also take some responsibility for the incident. He noted that passengers also have a role to play in safety during their time on the ship. He did not divulge how the passenger came to fall from the jetty on Tuesday but did confirm that the domestic tourist was rescued immediately. She is said to have suffered minor abrasions but was not seriously injured.
The first known incident of a passenger falling overboard happened not 100m from Gilliamnuk Harbour. A 50-year-old woman from Surabaya was traveling from Bali to East Java and was peering off the side of the ferry to try and look for fish in the water below. She is said to have slipped, fallen over the railings, and lost consciousness as she hit the water.
Teams from the Gilimanuk Harbour Port Health Office were able to jump into action and rescue her from the water. She suffered injuries to her feet but quickly regained consciousness and was declared healthy after an assessment by officers.
The Bali Strait ferry crossing is a crucial transportation link for both passengers and goods. For many domestic tourists, the crossing from Ketapang Harbour to Gilimanuk Harbour is the most cost-effective way to visit the Island of the Gods. During peak season, Gilimanuk Harbour welcomes over 25,000 people a day on average. The ferry is not only appealing in terms of ticket cost but enables families to bring their own vehicle to Bali, making travel around the island easier and more affordable too.
Safety on fast boats and ferries in Indonesia generally has a bad reputation. On Tuesday, 3rd January, a fast boat carrying passengers from Sanur to Nusa Penida sank after it was hit by strong waves. The Kebo Iwa Express got into serious trouble at sea at around 4.50 pm just off the Manyar Beach.
Though no casualties or fatalities were reported, police are now investigating the Kebo Iwa company on the grounds of negligence. The majority of passengers on board were foreign tourists, many of whom had their essential travel documents damaged or lost during the incident.
Police had confirmed that four of the passengers had been awarded compensation by the Kebo Iwa management but were unable to share how much money had been handed out or whether compensation would be given to all passengers aboard the fast boat when disaster struck.
On the 16th of November 2022, Bali Search and Rescue and the Indonesian Navy conducted an incredible life-saving mission to save 236 passengers and 35 crew from a ferry that burst into flames. The ferry KMP Mutiara Timur 1, was traveling from Ketapang Port, East Java, to Lembar Harbor, West Nusa Tenggara, when a fire broke out.
The incident occurred in Bali waters, along the Karagasem Regency coast. The operation was a success insofar as no lives were lost. However, the blaze continued for over 24 hours, and none of the dozens of vehicles aboard the ship could be evacuated before flames completely destroyed the vessel.
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