Four surfers came to the rescue on Saturday after a Lion Air passenger plane crashed in Bali, Indonesia, overshooting the Denpasar’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. Ben Panangian, a renowned Indonesian stand-up paddler, and his friends had been surfing in the area when they heard a loud noise, reportedly thinking it was thunder until they spotted the airliner slamming into the sea. Using their surfboards, Grind Media reported that the brave men rescued the injured from the wreck. All 101 passengers and crew members survived the crash, reported ITN News. Nearly two dozen people were injured.
After over-shooting the landing strip, the Lion Air airliner fell about 50 meters from the sky and into shallow waters. 31-year-old Panangian rushed towards the scene of screaming victims, along with surfers Yudi Astika, Ahmad Rofiq, and Krisbrianto. Together, along with help from local fishermen, they managed to pull dozens of passengers to safety. Despite fears of the plane exploding into flames, the courageous surfers continued their rescue efforts until all the passengers were on shore.
Many of Indonesia’s airports use second or third-party aircrafts donated by other airports, however this particular jet was reported to only have 100 hours of flight time on it, almost brand new. Extreme weather conditions are being looked at as one of the possible causes of the weekend’s crash, reported the Wall Street Journal.
The EU banned many Indonesian airlines due to low safety standards in 2007, only recently lifting the ban. Lion Air is still banned from landing in European airports.
Indonesian stand-up paddler, Ben Panangian (pictured), is to thank for saving many of Saturday’s victims. Photo: Facebook