An Australian tourist has described a terrifying ferry trip between Bali’s top tourist attractions and the mainland, but says it won’t deter him from returning.
His comments follow multiple reports of wild boat rides to Instagram-worthy island destinations as Australians flock to the area for the holiday season.
Ian Cragg and his girlfriend Natalie boarded a ferry leaving Gili Trawangan off the northwest coast of Lombok last Friday.
A Gold Coast tourist spent 3 nights on ‘Gili T’ and called the booking company in the morning to confirm that he would be returning to Sanur Port near Denpasar.
A friend of his said he had taken the same ferry the day before and was “floating at sea for an hour.”
After being informed that the first ferry of the day had been cancelled, he arrived at the port at 11am and waited another 3 hours for the boat to arrive.
Describing hundreds of people flocking to the small pier, Mr Cragg said, “The pier is in turmoil and it’s as chaotic as no one is in control.”
“Absolute shit show.”
He said that when the boat finally arrived its passengers looked “thin and pale” and when one of the Australians disembarked “that boat should never have gone”. .
Lacking confidence and no option to return to the mainland, Cragg boarded the ferry with about 60 passengers, many of them Australians.
“It was fine at first until we got to the main aisle. From there, things really started to get worse,” he said.
“This big wave hit the side of the boat, blew out the windows and drenched the tourists.
“Thankfully the windows didn’t break, so they must have been made of plastic.”
Cragg said people were panicking and moving to the back of the boat as two crew members ran to the window and began busily working to fit the plywood into the window.
“I definitely felt unsafe, but I was close enough to the landing that I hope help wasn’t too far away if the worst happened,” he said.
When they were safely back on the mainland, Cragg said, his taxi driver told him that “it happens all the time” during the rainy season.
“The water quality is fine most of the year, but it gets worse during the wet season from December to February,” Cragg said.
Earlier this week, a shocking video emerged of a speedboat capsizing off the coast of Nusa Penida while carrying 28 passengers to the same port Cragg was heading to.
On Tuesday afternoon, choppy gray waves washed up on the Kebo Iwa Express Ferry as several people in lifejackets jumped into the water.
Two Australian tourists were forced to dive into the water two nautical miles from shore, according to ABC.
One of the passengers told NCA NewsWire that waves soon overwhelmed the ship and sank it.
He said all passengers were safe and there were no casualties.
“If I were to go again, I would pay to fly to Lombok instead,” Cragg said.
He said, “I will definitely go again,” and even recommended visiting an island he said was “very beautiful.”
“The locals there were wonderful and very kind. They were very happy to welcome tourists,” he said.
“We need better and safer ferry infrastructure between the islands.”
“When bad weather is expected, do not take children on the ferry, contact the ferry company before departure, sit as close to the exit as possible, have a fully charged phone and make sure you are safe. Please, confident swimmers…”
https://www.perthnow.com.au/travel/aussie-tourist-shares-terrifying-experience-while-on-holiday-in-bali-c-9361465 Aussie tourists tell terrifying experiences while vacationing in Bali