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Ghost Ship Runs Aground at Baliís Padang Padang Beach

Police Suspect Foul Play Involved in the Disappearance of Taiwanese Captain and 12 Indonesian Crew.

(7/21/2008) An international surfing championship in Bali was disrupted when an illegal fishing boat washed onto the reefs at Bali's Padang-Padang bay on Saturday, July 12, 2008. The "mystery boat" scuttled on the reef with its freezers full of fish but without any crew to be found anywhere on board.

Locals have climbed aboard the boat to help themselves to the ship's catch and nautical equipment. Meanwhile, police are treating the ship as a crime scene, fearing the ship's Captain, presumed to be a Taiwanese, and his crew may have come to a bad end.

The presence of the ship on the reef compelled organizers of the Rip Curl Cup Surfing Competition to postpone their event while local fishing boats tried in vain to refloat the boat back into the open water.

Environmentalist are concerned that should the ship break up on the reef it would expell large quantities of fuels and lubricants onto the fragile shore environment at Padang-Padang.

Press reports say the Taiwanese boat owner, accompanied by a Taiwanese Interpol officer, have arrived in Bali to try to gain insights into the whereabouts of the Taiwanese Captain and his 12 Indonesian crew.

Local members of the Balawista or Balinese Lifeguard Association have told the press that pollution from the ship is beginning to show itself at Uluwatu and other beaches up and down Baliís west coast.