Fitri & Hangga Brata –
A ferry boat heading to the famous Gili resort islands in West Nusa Tenggara was caught in high waves and nearly capsized, forcing its 202 passengers and crew, including five Australians, to be evacuated in the middle of rough seas on Wednesday.“The waves were so high and suddenly the ship was leaning to one side. That’s when we heard a loud slamming noise and we all rushed to grab the life vests,” one of the passengers, Nyoman Tirtawati, told the Jakarta Globe. The ship, called the Andika Nusantara, set sail from Lembar Port in Padang Bai in West Lombok district at about 11 a.m. When it was about halfway between Gili Asahan and the main island of Lombok, it began to encounter waves that were up to three meters high. Carda Damanik, head of the local branch of state-owned ferry operator ASDP Indonesia, said the rough seas caused the ship’s load, which included eight fully loaded trucks and dozens of cars, to shift toward one side. That made the boat tilt at a 10-degree angle. Three ships were sent to rescue the passengers and crew. The evacuation took place about 11 hours after the initial incident.