The captain of a sailing catamaran Sri Tanjung prevented a catastrophe in a Bali diving incident last Sunday.
The management of the Catamaran Sri Tanjung that is advertised on this website, were in touch to inform me about an incident that occurred during a sailing tour last Sunday.
The management explained that members of their sailing staff were called on to help two divers get back into shore after they were left abandoned in Bali’s Bandung Strait.
The crew members were taking a tour to Lembongan Island with a number of guests.
They sailed Sri Tanjung out of the harbour and when they were approximately 1.5 Kilometers off the coast of Serangan. A sharp-eyed passenger noticed two scuba-divers were trying to gain their attention by waving at their vessel.
The divers were approximately one hundred meters away when first spotted and they appeared to be signaling Sri Tanjung in a distressed manner.
The passenger then informed Sri Tanjung’s Captain who had noticed a Yatch pass by their red flotation devices a short time beforehand and then redirect to Serangan.
The Captain of Sri Tanjung was aware the divers may be waving because they were caught up in the excitement of the dive. But he wisely decided to err on the side of safety and he slowed his vessel and wheeled around the fifty foot Catamaran.
This is no small task with such a large vessel and the passengers were offered a beer and asked to be patient while he checked on the divers safety.
The captain then ordered some of his crew to ready the dingy while he signaled the divers with the universally recognized ‘thumbs up thumbs down’ signal.
When the divers indicated they were indeed in trouble the Captain then dispatched his engineer to race to their aid in the boats dingy.
The engineer dragged the distressed divers into Sri Tanjung’s inflatable rubber tender and he helped them to remove their weight-belts and their oxygen-tanks.
The captain then ordered his engineer to take the divers closer to shore and for him to arrange a local fisherman in a jukung to ferry them into the safety of Sanur Beach.
When the engineer who has limited English returned to Sri Tanjung, he informed the captain that the divers had surfaced to find their dive boat was nowhere in sight.
The waters of the Bandung Strait are considered dangerous and the divers involved in this incident were fortunate that the Captain of Sri Tanjung was willing to interrupt his tour to check on their well-being.
Once the drama was over the tour went ahead and by all accounts everyone had a great time.
As for the tour company that left two of its divers stranded off-shore. I won’t mention them by name, but I will say that they should also consider themselves lucky that a diligent Captain happened to sail past.