Death at Dreamland

Bukit Bear’s prose poem of August 12 was the first your blog correspondent became aware of a tragic drowning at Dreamland.

Then by chance I browsed the 16 August edition of the Bali Times and found out more information on the drowning in an article about the Bali lifeguards*.


Quoting from the article: “During the week off the record tells that there is a victim namely Panda L. Toruan (57) from Medan, North Sumatra due to malignancy of wave at Dreamland Beach Uluwatu, South Kuta, Badung regency, while he was surfing.

The accident occurred due to surfboard used by L. Toruan broken in the middle of the strong waves, while the Balawisata rescuer is not able to monitor his position in the middle of the sea.

The victim who surfed on the big strong swelling wave that, when got accident unfortunately his life couldn’t be rescued because he was surfing at a remote location so it’s difficult to be watched.”

I’m pretty sure that the journalist wrote in perfectly good Bahasa Indonesia and the editor ran the article through Google Translate. Sounds like it, anyhow. The inadvertent comedy from being Googlated into a different language adds a certain piquant melancholy to the tragedy.

The first recorded drowning death (at least of a foreigner) at Kuta was in 1938, which you can read about here.

Who was the first surfer to die while actively surfing Bali? That’s a pretty morbid question to which I don’t have the answer, only to say that there definitely exists such an unfortunate first victim.

* According to the article, there are 170 lifeguards spread among 22 locations from Nusa Dua to Tabanan

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2 Responses to Death at Dreamland

  1. Bukit Bear says:

    Panda was a very cool and guy. An avid collector of Indo antiques and subcultural artifacts… his shop on Jl Uluwatu was always full of intersting stuff. Most afternoons he’d be hanging out in front of his store.. kicking back with a Bintang in his hand.. smiling as he watched life go by.
    Condolences to his family…

  2. I assumed he was a domestic tourist. No less a tragedy is so, but that he was one of us makes this hit closer to home…

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