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Sea Safari VII dive-liveaboard catches fire


Sea Safari VII was a traditional phinisi-style liveaboard
Sea Safari VII was a traditional phinisi-style liveaboard

Sea Safari VII, the biggest of the phinisi schooners in Indonesia’s Sea Safari Cruises fleet, has suffered a devastating fire onboard, though all guests and crew are reported by the operator to have been evacuated safely.

The liveaboard was “engulfed in a fire” near its base in Labuan Bajo on Flores on 2 May, says Sea Safari. Although it could accommodate up to 28 divers, an unofficial report has suggested that there were only 14 guests present at the time, along with a large complement of boat and dive-crew. The vessel is thought to have burnt to the waterline after those onboard had been taken off..

“The safety and well-being of our guests and crew are of paramount importance to us,” stated Bali-based Sea Safari Cruises, which has been operating for 36 years and claims to be Indonesia’s largest liveaboard fleet with its five phinisis

“We are taking every necessary step to investigate the incident thoroughly and to implement any measures required to prevent such occurrences in the future,” said the operator, thanking those onboard for their “calmness and co-operation” and recognising the “swift response” of local emergency services.  

Flores, one of the Lesser Sunda Islands in south-eastern Indonesia, is a base for divers exploring Komodo National Park. The company said that its team was working to address any disruptions to clients who had upcoming trips booked, and said that it would provide alternative options where possible.

Also read: Komodo National Park – One of the Best Dive Destinations in the world

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