KMP Prahita, a Java Bali ferry operating between Katapang (Banyuwangi, East Java) and Gilimanuk (Bali) ran aground on a coral reef approximately 2 kilometers from Gilimanuk.
The ship carrying 326 passengers and 27 vehicles was pulled by strong currents as it neared the Bali ferry port.
According to Beritabali.com, efforts by the ship's master Wawan Yudho, were initially unsuccessful, adding to a general atmosphere of fear for the passengers on board the vessel.
One hour after running aground, the KMP Mutis - another inter-island ferry, tried unsuccessfully to pull the fully-loaded vessel off the reef which, by that time, was listing to its shore-side.
Responding to reports of a ship in distress, the Indonesian Navy post at Gilimanuk dispatched a team on a rubber zodiac to the vessel. The team surveyed the situation and concluded the ferry and its passengers were under no imminent threat. The Navy team did, however, evacuate a group of 5 passengers who were rushing to Singaraja, Bali to visit a critically ill family member.
Some 9 hours after the initial grounding a tug boat arrived on the scene and managed to pull the vessel off the reef at high tide. All passengers and goods on board the KMP Prahita arrived late, but unscathed, at the port of Gilimanuk.
Meanwhile, in a separate report, Radar Bali reports that the Port Master (Syahbandar) at Gilimanuk has suspended operations for the KMP Prahita pending a complete review of the seaworthiness of the vessel to determine why the ship ran aground and to confirm the vessel is mechanically and structurally sound.
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