A large chemical barge – the Jemms Marine 3001 – has been aground on a reef off the popular tourist area of Nusa Dua since August 16, 2011, raising concerns by tourism operators and local residents that permanent damage has been inflicted on the reef and fears that the vessel will leak hazardous substances into the local marine eco-system.
Radar Bali reports that the barge, owned by a Banjarmasin-based ship operator PT Lingga Marintama, broke loose from a tow line in 3 meter seas while the barge and tug were inbound to Bali’s port of Benoa. The loose tugboat line fouled one of the tug’s propellers, making it impossible to regain control of the barge. Buffeted by the heavy seas, the barge eventually went hard aground on the Nusa Dua reef where it has remained for the past two months.
The Nusa Dua Reef Foundation (TKNS) have protested to local marine authorities over the lack of action to remove the ship and prevent further damage to the surrounding reef on Mengiat Beach, Nusa Dua.
The director of TKNS, Priama Hutasoit, said, “it’s been almost two months there. Aground on the reef it’s damaging the sea’s eco-system by destroying coral and the beach view at Nusa Dua. "
The ship was reportedly carrying crude palm oil from Kalimantan to Bali.
The ship now rests on the reef some 300 meters from the major hotels that occupy Bali’s prestigious tourist enclave at Nusa Dua.
Hutasoit confirmed that divers have inspected the area near the ship and discovered significant damage to the reef. There are further feRs that hazardous liquids will start seeping from the ship causing further damage to the reef and adjoining shoreline.
Indonesian law holds ship operators responsible for ships that have run aground, allowing port officials to salvage a ship deemed a danger to the public or maritime navigation. Letters sent to the Port Administrator at Benoa demanding that the ship be impounded until compensation is paid to permit repair of environmental damage caused by the ship.
The Benoa authorities have, however, washed their hands of the matter saying it falls under the purview of Nusa Dua maritime officials.
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