22 Safe after Tourist Ship at Komodo Sinks

KM Budi Utama, a traditional phinisi sailing yacht operating near Komodo National Park, sunk while underway from the Port of Labuan Bajo to Komodo Island on Saturday, 22 June 2024, at around 7:00 am.

At the time of the sinking, the ship was carrying 15 passengers and seven crew, who were all evacuated to safety by local search and rescue teams. Questions are now being raised with the Labuan Bajor Port Authority (KSOP), which had just issued a mandatory sailing permit one hour before the sinking for only ten domestic tourists and five crew. 

Websites promoting the Budi Utama Cruise stated the ship could carry 18 paying passengers. 

Search and Rescue 

Two foreign nationals were among the 22 people rescued in the incident. 

The sinking occurred off Padar Island at the Komodo National Park. The Head of Search and Rescue (BASARNAS) in Maumere, Flores, Supriyanto Ridwan, said the ship was overwhelmed by large waves and strong currents. The vessel sank after the bilge pumps failed, allowing the ship to take on large amounts of seawater. The sinking occurred at 07:00 am, one hour after it left the Port of Labuan Bajo.

Once evacuated to safety at Labuan Bajo, two passengers required medical treatment for slight injuries. 

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