Very early on the morning of May, 18, 2020 in the town of Sanur, on the southern coast of Bali, 21 passengers boarded a passenger boat called ‘El Rey De Reyes’. The day started looking promising: monsoon season was waxing, although there were few clouds, and the surface of the Indian Ocean was calm…. assuming all went well, they’d be at sea for one maybe two hours which was normal for a ferry traveling from Bali to Nusa Penida.
Nusa Penida island belonged to Bali province in Indonesia, with only 45,000 inhabitants within 200 km2. This archipelago of 3 islands is mostly known for its diving spots and is home to over 296 species of coral and 576 species of reef fish.
Similar ferries set course to Sanur multiple times a day, but El Rey De Reyes had been moored for three months prior to leaving that morning. And where, on a shore plastic bags and empty motor oil bottles litter the beach.
El Rey De Reyes blended with the rest of the fleet, with faded paint and lettering and numbers no longer legible, seemed like a ghost ship stuck at shore during the pandemic.
The Captain and crew of three along with 21 passengers and a full load of cargo was propelled by an outboard motor reaching speeds of up to 25 knots struggled to cut through the waves.
An unexpected turn of events suddenly emerged, waves seem to have come out of nowhere and the boat was working harder against the prevailing wind and currents.
In the buffeting waves, however, the boat moved haphazardly and capsized. There were no bilge pumps to bail them out, all they could do is wait to be rescued and watch their boat slowly sink.
The Head of Denpasar Police Public Relations Sub Unit Iptu Ketut Sukadi said there were no fatalities. However, the goods on board could not be saved.
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If You’re Travelling From: Batur, Bangli, or the north
And thinking about taking your motorbike or car for a spin to Nusa Penida, you’ll want to take the ferry from Padang Bali. This is a port on the NE side of the mainland and is convenient, especially from areas like Batur, Bangli, and other northern spots.
The ferry is much cheaper than the fast boats in Sanur, but can take up to an hour or two to reach Sampalan in Nusa Penida.
Bali to Nusa Penida speedboats
Bali to Nusa Penida Ferry
Source: Bali News Id