Video: Passengers Jump Off Ferry to Escape COVID-19 Quarantine

Video still via social media

Published Apr 8, 2020 3:47 PM by The Maritime Executive

A number of passengers from the Indonesian ferry Lambelu jumped over the side and successfully swam to shore at the port of Maumere in order to escape quarantine, according to the Indonesian ministry of transportation. 

Three members of the Lambelu's crew have tested positive for COVID-19, and the vessel's passengers were temporarily held on board while awaiting further test results. The ferry was quarantined off Maumere, Flores Island, and a series of videos posted to social media indicate that some passengers reacted strongly to the news of the delay. After a verbal confrontation between passengers and the crew of a government patrol boat near the ferry, a number of people are seen in the water, wearing life vests and swimming away from the ship. 


A post shared by VISIT WEST PAPUA (@papuabarathitz) on Apr 7, 2020 at 6:25am PDT

???????? Passenger KM Lambelu Falls Into the Sea, Prohibited from docking at Maumere Corona Issue. Passengers have not been allowed to disembark because it is suspected that 3 crew members (ABK) have contracted COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/u43vsp7vVw

— tealab.co (@tealabco) April 8, 2020

"We ask for the passengers to cooperate with health protocols before disembarking from the ship and refrain from any actions that could be harmful,” an Indonesian transport ministry offical told Reuters in a statement.

The ship has now been allowed to berth in Maumere, and passengers are being transferred to a local convention center and to the area regent's official residence. Many of the 238 passengers aboard the Lambelu are migrant workers who are returning from Malaysia, where the largest coronavirus outbreak in Southeast Asia is currently in progress. 

22 passengers from the Lambelu were transported by truck to a stadium in the nearby town of Ende. Upon arrival, Indonesian response personnel sprayed each person down with an antiseptic fog, according to local outlet Pos-Kupang. 

Over 700 other passengers disembarked during a previous call in the port of Baubau, Sulawesi on March 6, and local officials are monitoring these former passengers for signs of illness. As of Wednesday, no COVID-19 symptoms have been observed among this group, local officials told Pos-Kupang.