August 16, 2017

Bali prison escapee Shaun Davidson taunts police with wanted posters on Facebook

Bali prison escapee Shaun Davidson has poked fun at international police on social media more than a month after he fled the notorious Kerobokan jail. Davidson shared a series of mocked-up missing person and wanted posters, emblazoned with his image, to his Facebook page last night. “Possible whereabouts: Not sure but we’re close,” one of the posters read.

Another poster offered a “huge reward” for the Perth man’s capture, along with the text “straight outtta Kerobokan”. The posts followed a taunting message to Interpol Manila’s secretariat on Sunday night. “Hey how’s it going (sic) just wondering when you say close how close are you really,” he wrote.

Davidson was one of a group of four inmates who successfully tunneled out of the notorious Kerobokan prison on June 19. Two of his accomplices have since been caught, while Davidson and another suspect Tee Kok King, remain at large. Davidson, or someone writing on his behalf,  regularly flaunts his freedom to authorities under the handle Matthew Rageone Ridler since his escape. The 33-year-old was only two months and 15 days from being released from Kerobokan on charges of using another person’s passport. He is also wanted for drug charges in Perth. Last week Davidson’s crowdfunding campaign was shut down after it raised just $65 of its $50,000 target. [Nine News July 25, 2017]


Perth father flown home from Bali after mid-operation cardiac arrest

Perth doctors say a father who was flown home from Bali has suffered a medical complication that almost never happens in Australia. Steven Didmon went into cardiac arrest during a minor operation. He is now being treated at Fiona Stanley Hospital after an emergency flight back from Indonesia.

The 39-year-old was rushed home on a mercy flight after a horror ordeal in a Balinese hospital. He had gone in for a routine hernia operation, but something went wrong after he was administered an epidural and he went into cardiac arrest. His sister said Mr Didmon was awake but not communicating and was heavily sedated. “We’re so relieved just knowing he’s here and he’s in the best care possible,” she said.

Complications during epidurals are almost unheard of in Australia. Six in every million end in complications, and doctors are unsure if Mr Didmon has any permanent damage. He has been living in Bali with his wife and child and had tried to have the surgery done in Perth but was not eligible for Medicare because he is not a resident. In Perth the procedure would have cost $20,000 with a six month delay. Treatment in Bali was his only option, but now his family is facing a mountain of medical bills totaling close to $100,000. [Yahoo7 July 31, 2017]


Govt begins building roads with plastic waste mix in Bali

Government began to build roads using plastic waste mixed with asphalt in Jimbaran, Bali, on Saturday (29/7). Deputy coordinating minister of maritime affairs Safri Burhanuddin said that this technology is applicable to all roads in Indonesia. “This technology is pretty simple, anyone can do it,” Safri Burhanuddin said on Sunday (30/7).

Safri continued that his unit works with Indonesia Plastic Recycling Association (Adupi) to anticipate plastic waste supply used in asphalt mix. “Adupi operates in 16 cities and has fully committed to supply plastic waste from the cities.”

This technology of using plastic waste in asphalt mix was invented by an Indian Chemistry scientist Rajagopalan Vasudevan in 2015. Today, India has built more than 25 thousand kilometers of roads with this technology. Earlier this year, last June, Coordinating Maritime Ministry and Rajagopalan Vasudevan have signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) to transfer the technology and to use the patent of this technology. [Tempo.Co July 30, 2017]


Brit tourist speared through the neck by a swordfish

 Alan Pope, 57, was sitting in his boat about to go snorkelling when the huge fish launched itself from the sea and hit him. The force of the impact threw him to the floor of the boat and snapped off the tip of the giant bill-fish’s harpoon – leaving six inches embedded in his neck. Incredibly the spear – about the same size and sharpness of a kitchen knife – narrowly missed all the major arteries in Alan’s neck. He had to endure a 30-minute boat ride back to shore with blood pouring from the wound.

The spear was so close to his jugular and carotid arteries that it took a 36 hours, and three different hospitals, before doctors dared remove it. The brush with death came as Alan and wife Sharon, 55, were about half an hour out to sea off the tiny Indonesian island of Lembongan near Bali. He said: “I was just a bit mystified through the whole thing. It didn’t really hurt much, it didn’t feel too bad. But it did start to dawn on me that I might bleed out and die. “The beak missed my jugular by just a millimetre – the doctors said afterwards that if the surgery had gone wrong I could have bled out in three minutes.” Sharon said: “It was a really scary experience – but he was such a Trojan. He never complained.

Medical staff at the tiny village hall ‘hospital’ were able to remove the top half of the beak from the side of his neck but the rest was too deeply embedded for them to safely reach it. Alan said: “Taking out that half of the beak was actually the worst thing they could have done – they should have left it in. “Someone then came and told us we had to go back to Bali to a proper hospital. “So we rushed back to our hotel, threw everything in a bag and then had to get a boat back to the mainland – all while I had a swordfish beak stuck in my throat.”

Even after the couple arrived back in Bali, they were made to visit two different hospitals – because doctors were not sure how to safely remove the six-inch beak. Alan said that despite an x-ray at the first hospital confirming the beak lodged in his throat he was then sent 40 minutes away to a different hospital for a CT scan. “The doctors were concerned about safely getting the beak out,” he said. “It was so close to my jugular – it was right in the middle of a fork between two main arteries – so they weren’t sure how to do it safely.”

He added: “We also had a lot of problems getting in touch with our insurance company to prove we had insurance, because of the time difference.” It wasn’t until 36 hours after the incident, and following a three-and-a-half hour operation, that the beak was safely removed from Alan’s throat. Just over a week later Alan was well enough to board a plane to Australia with Sharon to continue their travels. He added: “It made me more determined to carry on. “The doctors told me I was either the luckiest man alive, or the unluckiest. He brought the swordfish beak home with him as a memento of his ‘freak accident’ – and has also since had a tattoo of a swordfish on his arm. [The Sun July 29, 2017]


‘Memorial paddle’ honors Sydney toddler who drowned in Bali

Kawa Sweeney, the three-year-old girl who died after being pulled unconscious from a pool in Bali, has been honored with a memorial paddle-out at a Sydney beach. More than 100 of Kawa’s relatives and friends met at Newport Beach for the touching ceremony this morning. Kawa’s mother and father, Dee Tang and Desmond Sweeney, were among several mourners who paddled into the water on surfboards. The surfers formed a large, floating circle and splashed their hands in the gentle waves. An array of colorful floral wreaths were also laid at the water’s edge.

Kawa was on a family holiday when she was found unconscious in a resort pool of on July 24. A  GoFundMe campaign raised money to transport the toddler back to Perth for emergency care at Princess Margaret Hospital, but she could not be revived. Kawa’s parents, from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, made the heart-breaking decision to switch off her life support four days after the accident.

“Thank you to everyone who has supported us with their thoughts, prayers, love and donations,” family spokesperson Pearl Tan said at the time. “We are overwhelmed with your generosity and are grateful for all that you have given us in this difficult time.” [Nine News August 6, 2017]


German tourist hospitalised after Mount Agung rescue

A German tourist is lucky to have escaped severe injury after falling 20 metres into a crater while hiking Mount Agung in Bali on Thursday, August 3. Torge Zenst, 19-years-old, began ascending the iconic tourist spot with friends Ricet Sremaem and Frasiskus Bermaum, also 19-years-old, around 1.30 p.m. without a guide. As the weather turned, fog caused poor       visibility but the trio pushed on, Bali Post reported.

While circling the crater, which sits at 2843 metres above sea level, Zenst slipped and fell. The incident occurred around 5.30 p.m. Local guide I Ketut Dana was the first on the scene and quickly reported to authorities, which launched a rescue team including personnel from local search and rescue, the Regional Disaster Management Agency (BPBD), local police, military and volunteers.

Poor weather conditions hampered search and rescue efforts, but the trio was eventually rescued by the team at 7 a.m. Zenst sustained injuries to his legs, face and head. He was found conscious and responsive. He was evacuated to the BaliMed Karangasem Hospital for treatment. [Indonesia Expat August 4, 2017]


German father and daughter drown while surfing near Pecatu

Two German tourists, a 46-year-old German and his 19-year-old daughter, have drowned tragically off Nyang Nyang Beach in Pecatu, South Kuta on Thursday, August 3, 2017. NusaBali reports that Ismail Gocmen and his daughter Perin Gocmen were surfing at 4:00 pm when they were caught by a large rolling wave that resulted in their drowning. The bodies of the two were quickly recovered and brought to shore.

The Father-Daughter team of surfers was staying at Villa Bombora Surf Camp on Padang Padang Beach in Pecatu, South Kuta in the company of Zoehre Gocmen (40), the sister of Ismail. The tragedy unfolded when the 19-year-old girl disappeared beneath the surf. The girl’s father attempted to save his drowning daughter, dying in the process.

Zoehre Gocmen who was helpless to prevent the death of her elder brother, Ismail, or her niece, Perin, witnessed the entire incident from shore. The woman raised the alarm with lifeguards on the beach who found the two bodies less than a half-hour later only 200-meters from shore. Both bodies were sent to the Sanglah General Hospital for forensic  examination. [ August 6, 2017]


Indonesia police ordered to shoot drug dealers to tackle ‘narcotics emergency’

Indonesia’s president, Joko Widodo, has told law enforcement officers to shoot drug traffickers to deal with what he called a “narcotics emergency” facing the country. “Be firm, especially to foreign drug dealers who enter the country and resist arrest. Shoot them because we indeed are in a narcotics emergency position now,” Widodo said in a speech delivered at a political event late on Friday.

His remarks have drawn comparisons to those of Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, who launched a brutal anti-drug crackdown about a year ago that saw thousands of alleged drug dealers and drug users killed. The bloody campaign in the Philippines has drawn condemnation from the international community, including the United Nations.

Indonesia also has tough laws on drugs. Widodo has previously been criticized for ordering the execution of convicted drug traffickers who were given a death penalty by the court. Rights activists and some governments have called on Indonesia to abolish the death penalty.

Friday’s order from Widodo came a week after Indonesian police shot dead a Taiwanese man in a town near the capital, Jakarta. The man, who was part of a group trying to smuggle a tonne of crystal methamphetamine into the country, was killed for resisting arrest, police have said.

After the incident, Indonesian national police chief Tito Karnavian was quoted by media as saying he had ordered officers not to hesitate shooting drug dealers who resist arrest. [Reuters July 22, 2017]