Bali narrowly averted adding another inter-island ferry disaster to Indonesia's growing list of mishaps at sea for 2007 when the Bali-Lombok car ferry KMP Nusa Bhakti caught fire shortly after leaving the Bali port of Padang Bai on Saturday afternoon, January 13, 2007.
Loaded with cars, trucks, motorcycles and 91 passengers the ship averted disaster when the Captain intentionally ran the disabled vessel aground near the village of Bubug, in Karangasem.
According to local press reports, thousands of local villagers rushed to the shore to lend aid and assistance to the passengers who managed to scramble safely to shore as smoke billowed from the shipís engine room.
Passengers departing the ship complained of no communication or safety instructions from the crew during the entire incident.
Port authorities at Padang Bai provided free passage to the rescued passengers on ferry services which depart on an hourly basis from the port to Lombok.
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