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Fast Boat Carrying Bali Tourists Sinks In Extreme Conditions At Sea

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Tourists traveling from Nusa Penida to Sanur in Bali have been traumatized after one of the worst fast-boat disasters in recent history occurred on Tuesday 3rd January. Terrifying videos and photos of the incident are circulating widely online.

Fortunately, no serious casualties or deaths have been reported. But now, travelers have to undergo the ordeal of replacing items they have lost at sea, including passports and travel documents.

The tragedy is frightening to watch. Videos show travelers wearing life jackets scrambling to jump off the sinking boat. Some are carrying their bags and climbing onto floats. In one video taken from a neighboring boat, a concerned onlooker can be heard saying, “are there any children?”

Video: Source Supplied

While those who have survived the trauma will feel lucky to be alive, questions are now being raised as to how and why the boat was allowed to travel in such bad weather conditions. The fast boat services from Bali to the outlying islands of Nusa Penida and the Gili Islands had been running intermittently since Christmas Eve. Officials shut down services from Pandang Bai when wind speeds reached dangerous levels, and the waves became too unpredictable to navigate.


Mhn ijin melaporkan hari ini Selasa 3 Jan 2023 pkl 17.00 wt telah terjadi *_Kapal Penumpang Kebo Iwa yg dicarter oleh Maruti Exspres_* no pengurus an bpk kadek sunshine 081338754848 berangkat dr Pelabuhan Sanur menuju Lembongan memgalami kebocoran pada Lunas Kapal…!! Penumpang dan Crew berjumlah 28 org dinyatakan *_selamat_* ditolong oleh 3 unit Boat Penyeberangan yg kebetulan melintas. Demikian info awal dan perkembangan selanjutnya segera disampaikan

♬ suara asli – Godel Kuta EO Artis bali

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A local resident in Bali, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted The Bali Sun as the situation unfolded. He wrote “These survivors were brought to Sanur’s Harbour, and were told to wait for the authorities and help to arrive. However, hours passed and no such help came, so I called the police myself, and it seems like they have finally come.”

“We suspect that they hoped to keep this story quiet so that they could resume business as usual. This is problematic for the many non-Indonesian nationals who were on the boat, whose official documents like passports and visas were drowned along with the boat, and whose stay in Indonesia is now jeopardized”.

The Center for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics in Denpasar issued extreme weather warnings for the 2nd – 4th of January, which has now been extended pending further review on the evening of the 5 January. The wording of the weather warning from the authorities remains the same as it did over the Christmas holidays. The BMKG Bali is discouraging anyone from traveling by sea unless absolutely necessary.

The statement reads, “users and operators of sea transportation services, services, marine tourism, and the public who are active around coastal areas are advised to be aware of the potential increase in wind speed and sea waves with a height of up to 2.0 meters or more in the Bali Sea, Bali Strait, Badung Strait, Lombok Strait, and the Indian Ocean south of Bali.” Travelers have also been advised by port officials to travel by ferry rather than fast boat if they do decide to make the crossing.


As of Wednesday morning, local news sites and local social media pages were sharing details of the sunken fast boat, though little further Information was made public other than the police confirming the incident. AKP I Wayan Antariksawan, from the Gianyar Police, spoke to local media and explained the order of events.

He said “Information was received that on Tuesday, 3 January 2023, around 16.50 WITA the sinking of the Kebo Iwa Express fast boat heading to Nusa Penida-Sanur occurred. In the waters off Manyar Beach, Ketewel Village, Sukawati, Gianyar. Precisely about 500 meters from the Segara Ketewel Catur Temple.”


Many experienced travelers in Bali have jumped online have to share their sympathies with those impacted by the disaster. They have warned others that with the weather and winds being so bad at the moment that, making the crossing to and from the outlying islands is not worth the risk.


On Monday, 2 January, six people traveling from Nusa Lembongan to Sanur in Bali were injured as a fast boat was hit by high waves. Those injuries were from Indonesia, Australia, India, Russia, and the Netherlands.

The Head of Klungkung Police Public Relations, Iptu Agus Widiono, confirmed details of the incident to reporters and explained that shortly after departing from Tanjung Sanghyang Harbor, in Nusa Lembongan the fast boat was smashed by high waves. This “resulted in the windshield of the fast boat breaking and hitting six passengers, causing them to be injured…for this incident, the victims only suffered [minor] injuries and are currently being given medical treatment”.

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Thursday 5th of January 2023

With these weather conditions the island of the gods is becoming the island of hell.


Thursday 5th of January 2023

Will not ride on scoot boats anymore,they have cowboy captains driving there boats ,things like seeing how hard they can drive into oncoming waves rather than ease off the speed into larger waves,especially when you have a boat full of passengers,as I said cowboys

Rod Wilkinson

Thursday 5th of January 2023

Passenger safety must come first,not money,same thing with the white water rafting,