Indonesia: Government recommends boats stay clear of the Sunda Strait

Following the December 23 tsunami in Indonesia’s Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra and the resulting devastation along the coasts of both islands, the Indonesian Government has advised all boats to keep clear of the area.

Published 4 years ago

The Sunda Strait lies between Java and Sumatra. Credit:

The Sunda Strait connects the Java Sea and the Indonesian ocean and is dotted with a number of islands many of them volcanic in origin including Anak Krakatoa, which triggered the underwater landslide and tsunami.

Yachts transiting to and from the Indian Ocean often use the Sunda Strait and there are a few known anchorages for cruisers which represent some unspoilt wilderness areas, including Panaitan Island and the Ujung Kulon National Park.

However, cruisers intending to transit this area should exercise extreme caution as the state of some of these coastal anchorages will be unknown.

The latest edition of the Cruising Guide to Indonesia lists several anchorages on or near the area, including the island of Anak Krakatoa itself, as well as Rakata Besar and Rakata Kecil.

Coastal anchorages on Java include Tanjung Lesung and Carita Bay, which are both listed as having suffered considerable damage and devastation from the tsunami.

Slightly further south is the island of Peucang Island, which is known as an anchorage for those wanting to visit the Ujung Kulon, National Park.

The Jakarta Post reports that the Indonesian Government’s Tourism Ministry will focus on tourism recovery strategies for the area.

Indonesia, with more than 17,000 islands and home to 260 million people, is a popular cruising ground for sailors.  However, it is prone to earthquakes and tsunamis because it lies along the “Ring of Fire”, an arc of volcanoes and fault lines in the Pacific Basin.

Already in 2018 coastal areas in Sulawesi and Lombok have been devastated by earthquakes and tsunamis, so anyone planning to sail in the area should be well aware of the risks and plan accordingly.

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