7 crew still missing from boat that went down in Bali Strait

A Basarnas helicopter. Photo: Aris Daeng/Flickr

Indonesian Search and Rescue (SAR) are still looking for seven missing crew members who were on a cargo ship that went down in the Bali Strait late on Thursday night.

The KM Multi Prima 1, a cargo boat, had been transporting building materials from Surabaya to Waingapu, East Nusa Tenggara when it sunk after hitting two-meter-high waves, local media reported. The boat had been carrying 14 crew members—only seven of whom have been determined as safely evacuated.

“It hasn’t been found yet. The results of monitoring via air are also nil,” SAR spokesman I Gusti Lanang Wiswananda told Detik on Sunday.

When the boat went down, the entire crew jumped overboard to save themselves. Some were wearing lifejackets, while others were holding on to floating fragments of the boat. The crew was tossed around in the sea for about four hours until half of them were evacuated on Friday at 4am WIB by another boat, the KM Cahaya Abadi 202, surviving crew member, Bob Chris Butar-Butar, told Detik on Saturday.

“The position of the sinking boat was on the border of Bali and Sumba waters. The hull of the ship immediately broke after being hit by the waves,” Butar-Butar said.

“During that time, we floated in the sea. Fortunately, the boat approached and we were evacuated,” he explained.

Butar-Butar says he believes the seven lost crew are actually still alive.

“I am sure they are still alive, because just before the ship sank, we were together. But maybe they were carried by waves and scattered away. I hope the officers continue the search,” he said.

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